Monday, November 22, 2010

Olympic Stadium Part II

I wrote a bit about this place before, not much has changed about the place since but the northern and eastern perimeters, which were for years used by various businesses ranging from newsstands to coach stations, with plenty of motorbike spares outlets and shoe stalls in between, have recently been moved on , and it’s surprising to see how much space has been freed, quite a few hectares. The space is being cleared for an Olympic Committee Center, which hopefully could be the start of a concerted effort to tidy up the whole facility, which has seen little real progress in years although it is relatively well-maintained.
There’s a comparison between the view in 2005 and 2010, and you can see a fair amount of construction went up in that time. What isn’t obvious is that some of those buildings actually took years to put up, and there were long periods when the whole project was abandoned, however now it’s a fairly popular mall and car-park. The company that developed the land on the west of the stadium entered an agreement with the then FUNCINPEC-controlled ministry that ran the place. They were supposed to refurbish the stadium and grounds, but did little other than a white-wash, and their construction projects were stopped for quite some time because of this. I'm not clear on the exact details, if anyone knows better I'd like to hear.
The other pictures are from 1975, I knew the stadium had been used as a military base, but I didn’t know it was also used as a helicopter base. The pilots actually designated the place themselves, as there was huge confusion in the last period of the war, and their normal base at Pochentong had become unusable due to rocket and artillery attacks. The last of the helicopters based there headed off at 2 am on April 17th to Kampong Chhnang, they reported that several others were left behind so these would be the ones in the admittedly low-quality pictures.
There’s also a frame-grab of a voting station at the stadium for the 1993 UNTAC sponsored elections.

The first picture was taken by Tom Monorom whose other pictures and writing can be seen here:


Anonymous said...

Hey, I really like that first picture.
That's because I took it.
I don't mind photos of mine that are on the interwebs to be used by others, but common courtesy would be to acknowledge your sources.

phnompenhpast said...

Apologies, I've tried to credit people where I can but sometimes lose the details.