Cambodia returns artefact fragment to Cleveland museum

Scans of the 6th century Krishna statue. Source: Cleveland.com, 20151030

Here’s a twist: Cambodia has returned an artefact fragment to the Cleveland Museum, after a series of tests including 3D scans showed that the fragment, part of a 6th century sculpture of Krishna, more closely matched the one in the museum’s collection, rather than the one in National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

Scans of the 6th century Krishna statue. Source: Cleveland.com, 20151030
Scans of the 6th century Krishna statue. Source: Cleveland.com, 20151030

Cambodia returns sculptural fragment after 3-D scans show it fits Cleveland Museum of Art’s Krishna
Cleveland.com, 30 October 2015

Cambodia returned a 432-pound sculptural fragment to the Cleveland Museum of Art after new evidence including 3-D scans showed that the broken piece belongs to the museum’s monumental sixth-century stone carving of Krishna.

The museum actually owned the fragment in question between the mid-1970s and 2005, but failed in earlier attempts to match it to its Krishna.

The museum sent the fragment to Cambodia, thinking that might match another Krishna in the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

But the Cleveland museum now says that new scientific information shows the fragment matches its Krishna and not a sculpture in Phnom Penh, as Cambodian authorities believed over the past decade.

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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