Cambodia opens $1.2 million monument to late king

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Associated Press

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 2:00 AM

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Cambodia has inaugurated a $1.2 million monument honoring the country's late king to mark the first anniversary of his death.

The government on Friday unveiled a 4.5-meter (15-foot) bronze statue of the late Norodom Sihanouk. It stands inside a 27-meter (100-foot) tall shrine in the capital, Phnom Penh.

The widely beloved former king helped Cambodia secure independence from France in 1953.

In the months after his Oct. 15, 2012, death from a heart attack, hundreds of thousands came to pay their respects at the Royal Palace.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and the current king, Norodom Sihamoni, attended the monument's inauguration.

Analysts question King Sihamoni's ability to be an effective political broker, a role his father often played, in Cambodia's current stalemate between Hun Sen's ruling party and the opposition.

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