Although foreigners have long paid a fee to enter Phnom Penh’s Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has announced that the days of apparently free entry to the notorious Khmer Rouge prison are finished and the charge will now be $3.
According to a prakas dated June 10 and signed by Culture Minister Phoeung Sakona, “foreigners aged 18 and up must pay for a visitors’ ticket at a cost of $3 per person,” from August 1.
Researchers, students and foreign delegations will be exempted from the fee, along with Cambodian nationals, the directive says.
It also refers to a previously unseen April 23 proclamation by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, which first introduced official ticket prices, and amends a December 2012 prakas that allegedly says tourists and foreigners can enter the museum “free of charge.”
A cashier at the museum Thursday said foreigners are charged $2 for entry, as he gave $18 in change to a tourist who had just paid $20 to go inside. Prison survivor Bou Meng also said tourists have been charged entry—but at a cost of $3—as far back as 2003, when he returned to the museum to set up a stall where he sells books.
Kong Vireak, director of the Culture Ministry’s Tuol Sleng museum management arm, said the current costs are not official.
“Previously, there’s been no official ticket sales; it’s an image of voluntary contribution,” he said.
“Such contributions are really difficult to manage, especially because tourist agencies that prepare tourist packages face difficulties in setting package prices for tourists,” Mr. Vireak said.