Retired King Norodom Sihanouk in a portion of his will posted on his Web site and dated Tuesday, said he would like his birthplace—the current location of the North Korean Embassy—to become a museum.
The will was approved by King Norodom Sihamoni and Queen Norodom Monineath. Several officials from the Royal Palace signed as witnesses.
The retired King said he loaned the property to Kim Il Sung, the founder of North Korea, as a token of his friendship and support.
“I offered His Excellency Marshall Kim Il Sung of North Korea, who supported me in everything and who I regarded as a sibling, the royal house ‘Tak Sin Pi Rom’ as the North Korean People’s Republic Embassy in Phnom Penh,” Norodom Sihanouk wrote.
He said the property, located near the Independence Monument, originally belonged to former King Sisowath Monivong, who gave it to the retired King’s mother, Queen Sisowath Kosamak.
The retired King said he loaned the property to North Korea for a 20-year period, and that in about eight to nine years the property would again belong to his family.
“When the 20 years end, I publicly declare that I offer the royal house ‘Tak Sin Pi Rom’ to the state, the nation and Cambodian citizens as affiliated with the National Museum,” the retired King wrote.
Cuch Phoeurng, secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said the ministry would be happy to administer the property.
Officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs refused to comment Wednesday. Officials at the North Korean Embassy declined repeated requests for comment.
Norodom Sihanouk also implored the government not to sell or alter his birthplace.
“Please, government, do not dismantle or sell it,” he wrote. “Please keep it as state property and repair, preserve it…both the building and the walls in their original form forever.” (Additional reporting by Soojung Chang)