Photographer's Note

In 1997 former Khmer Rouge child soldier Aki Ra founded the Cambodia Landmine Museum at his home on a quiet dirt road just outside Siem Reap near the famous temples of Angkor Wat. He created the museum under shanty huts to house his collection of decommissioned mines, bombs and other explosive remnant of war that he cleared throughout the country since 1995. During the late 1990's Aki Ra continued to clear the mines using the training he learned while working as a UN de-miner in 1994. After the UN left Cambodia, Aki Ra continued to clear mines on his own, slowly adding to the collection at his museum. By 2000 the museum had become a highlight destination for thousands of visitors to Cambodia. Journalists, photographers and other international documentarians began to spread the word about the museum around the world.

What we see today is no longer the original shanty huts but permanent facility constructed by an NGO. The museum opened its doors to the public on 22 April 2007. The Cambodia Landmine Museum is the first licensed and accredited museum of its kind in the world. Its 100% safe and meets all protocols regarding the Ottawa International Treaty to ban landmines.

The stool you see here is a simple and creative re-use of the decommissioned bombs which can still be found in the Cambodian paddock(it is never a good idea to trek on uncharted areas in Cambodia lest you step on a landmine). It is a shaky stool but safe like everything else in the museum and it weights about 20kg having tried to lift it and sat on it myself.

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Additional Photos by Alfred tdl (alftrek) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 320 W: 53 N: 846] (3270)
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