Vandalised statue returns to Bayon

The statue that was destroyed by a recalcitrant tourist earlier this month is re-installed in the Bayon with a Buddhist ceremony.

Bayon Faces

Statue Smashed by Tourist Returned to Bayon Temple
Cambodia Daily, 24 October 2014

The Apsara Authority on Thursday returned a statue of the Buddha to its place in Bayon temple at the Angkor Archaeological Park after a tourist smashed it earlier this month.

The woman, Willemijn Vermaat, a Dutch national living in New Zealand, told local media in New Zealand that a voice in her head told her to break the statue because it was in a temple dedicated to the wrong deity.

After being restored at the Preah Norodom Sihanouk-Angkor Museum, the statue was replaced inside the temple on Thursday in a Buddhist ceremony during which eight monks chanted blessings, according to Im Sok Rithy, deputy director of the Apsara Authority.

Mr. Sok Rithy emphasized that, although Ms. Vermaat has returned to New Zealand, authorities here are determined to prosecute her for damaging the statue.

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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