Thursday, July 14, 2005

HM the King Father wishes to keep birthplace as museum

PHNOM PENH, July 14 (Xinhuanet) -- Cambodian retired King Norodom Sihanouk expressed his wish to keep his birthplace as a museum, local newspaper The Cambodia Daily reported on Thursday.

Sihanouk said that he loaned the property to former leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Il Sung as a token of his friendship and support.

"I offered His Excellency Marshall Kim Il Sung of DPRK, who supported me in everything and who I regarded as a sibling, the royal house 'Tak Sin Pi Rom' as the Embassy of DPRK," the former King said in his message posted on his website on Tuesday.

He said the property, located near the Independence Monument, originally belonged to former King Sisowath Monivong, who gave it to the retired King's mother, Queen Sisowath Kosamak.

Sihanouk, 82, said he loaned the property to DPRK for 20-year period, and that in about eight to nine years the property would again belong to his family.

"When the 20 years end, I publicly declare that I offer the royal house to the state, the nation and Cambodian citizens as affiliated with the National Museum," the retired King wrote.

Norodom Sihanouk also called on the government never to sell ordismantle his birthplace.

"Please, government, do not dismantle or sell it," he wrote. "Please keep it as state property and repair, preserve it...both the building and the walls in their original form forever."

The will was approved by King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Norodom Monineath. Several officials from the Royal Palace signed as witnesses. -Enditem-

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