PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – An American textile conservationist is training staff at Cambodia's genocide museum to preserve thousands of articles of clothing of prisoners killed by the Khmer Rouge, the 1970s regime that ruled the country under a reign of terror.
The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum's macabre artifacts include torture devices and a display of skulls, with the most haunting exhibit comprising photo portraits of the victims.
But only a small amount of clothing is displayed. Most items were stowed away in nooks and crannies, untouched since the museum was established in 1980.
Julia Brennan's work in Cambodia is being funded by a $55,000 grant from the U.S. Embassy. Staff said it's vital to preserve the clothes because of the museum's mission to teach the horrific legacy of the Khmer Rouge.