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Koh Ker statue to return to Cambodia

A deal signed between Cambodia, USA and Sotheby’s will see the return of the Koh Ker statue what was originally up for auction at Sotheby’s. The statue was thought to be taken from Koh Ker in the 1970s. This appears to be a settlement between all the parties involved; Cambodia gets the statue back, while Sotheby’s gets to say that it acted properly at all times.

Koh Ker Warrior statue, New York Times 20131212

Koh Ker Warrior statue, New York Times 20131212

Disputed Statue to Be Returned to Cambodia
New York Times, 12 December 2013

An ancient statue of a Hindu warrior, pulled from auction two years ago because of assertions that it had been looted from a temple deep in the jungles of Cambodia, will be returned to that country under an agreement signed on Thursday by Sotheby’s, its client and federal officials.

The accord ends a long bare-knuckled court battle over the Khmer treasure, a 10th-century statue valued at more than $2 million. The Belgian woman who had consigned it for sale in 2011 will receive no compensation for the statue from Cambodia, and Sotheby’s has expressed a willingness to pick up the cost of shipping the 500-pound sandstone antiquity to that country within the next 90 days.

At the same time, lawyers from the United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan who had been pursuing the statue on Cambodia’s behalf agreed to withdraw allegations that the auction house and the consignor knew of the statue’s disputed provenance before importing it for sale.

Full story here.

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