Cambodia offers lessons on antiquities repatriation to China

Koh Ker warrior, VOA 20120306

Cambodia’s recent successes in repatriating a number of Khmer antiquities from the US is of interest to China, because of the recent news of a 1,000 year old statue containing the mummified remains of a monk going on sale in the Netherlands.

Koh Ker warrior, VOA 20120306
Koh Ker warrior, VOA 20120306

Interview: Cambodia shares successful story on repatriation of stolen antiquities
Xinhua, 28 March 2015

Cambodia successfully reclaimed five antiques that were looted by the United States during the country’s civil war, after effective diplomatic and legal work, a senior government official told Xinhua in a recent interview, in which ways other countries may reclaim stolen artifacts was shared.

The five ancient statues, which were looted from Cambodia during the time of the country’s civil war in the 1970s, had been repatriated from the United States to Cambodia between June 2013 and June 2014.

Phay Siphan, spokesman for the Office of the Council of Ministers, which represented the Cambodian government to reclaim the cultural objects, said international law, close cooperation between Cambodia and the United States, and concrete evidence, had led Cambodia to successfully retrieving its looted artifacts.

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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