More statues returned to Cambodia from the US

Statue of Bhima. Source: New York Times 20140506

Auction house Christie’s and the Norton Simon Museum have both agreed to return statues in their possession, ‘Pandava’ and ‘Bhima’ or a temple wrestler both originally thought to be from Prasat Chen, part of the Koh Ker complex.

Statue of Bhima. Source: New York Times 20140506
Statue of Bhima. Source: New York Times 20140506

More statues to be repatriated
Phnom Penh Post, 08 May 2014

Two More Looted Statues Set to Be Returned
Cambodia Daily, 08 May 2014

California museum to return statue to Cambodia
AP, via Salon.com, 08 May 2014

Ancient Angkor artefacts to be returned
AAP, via Yahoo News, 08 May 2014

Christie’s to Return Cambodian Statue
New York Times, 05 May 2014

Yet another ancient statue looted in the 1970s from a single remote temple in the jungles of Cambodia has turned up in the United States, this time at Christie’s, which is voluntarily paying to return it to its homeland.

Christie’s sold the statue, a 10th-century sandstone depiction of a mythological figure known as Pandava, to an anonymous collector in 2009, but bought it back earlier this year after officials determined that the sculpture had been looted.

In just the past three years, Cambodian officials say they have traced seven statues in the United States to the same Khmer temple, called Prasat Chen, about 75 miles northeast of Angkor Wat, a site pillaged during the upheaval of that country’s civil war. The Metropolitan Museum of Art voluntarily returned two of them last year and Sotheby’s, after a lengthy court battle that ended in a settlement, has agreed to return a third.

Full story here.

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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