From the November 22, 2002 print edition
Jeanne Lang Jones - Staff Writer
A new museum is on the drawing board for Seattle to help Cambodian refugees in this country remember their homeland.
Seattle has one of the largest concentrations of Cambodian immigrants in the United States, and about half of the state's approximately 20,000 émigrés live in the Puget Sound area, said Dara Duong, president of the newly formed nonprofit Cambodian American Foundation.
Duong and others aim to raise $1.5 million dollars to establish the Killing Field Memorial and Cultural Museum here to commemorate the 2 million Cambodians killed by the Khmer Rouge during Pol Pot's regime. He said it will be easier for Cambodian immigrants living in the United States and Canada to visit Seattle than travel overseas to memorial sites in Cambodia.
The proposed Killing Fields and Cultural Museum will be patterned after the Holocaust museums that commemorate the murder of 6 million Jews by the Nazis.
Additionally, the museum will include Cambodian cultural artifacts, since the slaughter of many of the country's artists by the Khmer Rouge has made it more difficult to maintain the country's cultural traditions, Duong said.
Duong is hoping to obtain temporary space for some exhibits in the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle's International District, but he wants the memorial museum to have its own building eventually.
Duong, who was just 4 years old when the Khmer Rouge took over his country, spent 13 years living in various refugee camps along the Cambodian border before emigrating to Seattle in the fall of 1999. He has been in contact with the Tuol Sleng memorial in Cambodia, which has agreed to share copies of some of its documents and photographs with the proposed Seattle museum.
Reach Jeanne Lang Jones at 206-447-8505 ext. 118 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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