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They saved evidence of mass crimes, devices once used to torture prisoners and documents. All the prison uniforms sat untouched for 40 years.Many began to break down because of the effects of age, heat and wet weather.(Khan Sokummono/VOA Khmer) American Julia Brennan is heading the conservation project.She said the effort would use technology to ensure the uniforms are protected without removing the blood and other markings.“My body was covered with blood.” A museum shows objects from Cambodia’s genocide Clothing similar to what Bou Meng once wore was left behind when the guards fled the prison.They left just before the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia, in January 1979.The textiles have been organized and are sitting in blue and red baskets, waiting to be documented and preserved.
Later, Vietnamese administrators set up a genocide museum inside the former prison.
Now all that is changing, as more Cambodians are recognizing the uniforms’ value.
The Cambodian Ministry of Culture now administers the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
Last month, the museum launched a project to protect up to 5,000 pieces of clothing.
The United States government provided a grant of ,000 to support the program.
“It was very cold at night, as I remember,” Bou Meng told VOA. Officials refused to let them have personal belongings.