Harihara statue reunited after French museum returns head

Statue of Harihara reintegrated. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160122

The Musee Guimet returns the head of a Harihara, a amalgam of the gods Siva and Vishnu, which was reunited at a ceremony at the National Museum in Phnom Penh last week. Dr Alison Carter discusses more about the significance of the Harihara in a blog post here.

Statue’s Head, Body Reunited After Generations
The Cambodia Daily, 22 January 2016

Statue head reunited with body
Phnom Penh Post, 22 January 2016

Hindu god statue’s head returns to Cambodia
BBC News, 21 January 2016

France returns head of Hindu statue taken from Cambodia 130 years ago
AP, via CTV news, 21 January 2016

French museum returns looted head of Hindu god statue to Cambodia
AFP, via Straits Times, 19 January 2016

The head and body of a seventh-century Khmer statue were at last reunited on Thursday in Phnom Penh after an international agreement was brokered that allowed the head to be brought home to Cambodia from Paris, where it had spent the last 126 years.

After over a decade of negotiations that involved France’s Ministry of Culture and Cambodia’s Council of Ministers, the head was formally set on the body during a ceremony at the National Museum, where the complete statue will now reside.

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.