Giant sandstone sculpture found near Angkor Thom

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The excavation conducted by the APSARA Authority and the Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre as part of a Field School has uncovered a massive 2m tall statue, a great find for what is just day of the excavation!

Archaeologists are typically happy to find pottery shards when they excavate a site in Angkor Archaeological Park as too many centuries have passed and too many cities have risen and collapsed for them to expect to find major objects in the ground.

So what occurred Saturday seemed like something that happens only in the movies. On the second day of an excavation in Siem Reap province, a team of archaeologists found a 1.9 meter statue weighing about 200 kg at an 800-year-old site in Angkor Park.

The excavation is conducted by the Apsara Authority in cooperation with the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies’ Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore. As part of a training program, 10 students from Asian countries, the U.S. and Australia are taking part in the excavation, Mr. Sokrithy said.

Source: For Archaeologists, a Dream Find at Angkor Park – The Cambodia Daily

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Koh Ker Rama statue returns to Cambodia

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Koh Ker statue returns to Cambodia. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160329

The last Koh Ker statue not in a private collection has finally been returned to Cambodia by the Denver Art Museum in a ceremony last month.

Koh Ker statue returns to Cambodia. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160329

Koh Ker statue returns to Cambodia. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160329

Pomp greets Rama statue’s return from US
Phnom Penh Post, 29 March 2016

Ancient Khmer Rama Statue Officially Received by Government
Cambodia Daily, 29 March 2016

US museum returns 10th century Khmer statue to Cambodia
AP, via Washington Post, 28 March 2016

US museum returns ancient Hindu god statue to Cambodia
BBC News, 28 March 2016

US Museum Returns Stolen Rama Statue
Cambodia Daily, 29 February 2016

Cambodian warrior comes home: Denver Art Museum returns Khmer statue
The Art Newspaper, 26 February 2016

Recently returned after 30 years in a US museum, a priceless Angkorian statue looted from war-torn Cambodia in the early 1970s was feted at the Council of Ministers yesterday.

The 1.6-metre-tall 10th-century Torso of Rama statue was returned by the Denver Art Museum after archaeologists from the Apsara Authority were able to prove that the artefact was looted from the Prasat Chen temple in Preah Vihear province, National Museum director Kong Vireak said yesterday.

The statue’s return, which actually took place in late February, was officially marked in a handover ceremony at the Council of Ministers yesterday morning.

Using forensic techniques, the archaeologists demonstrated that the statue, which is missing its head, arms and feet, was originally connected with a plinth found at the Koh Ker archaeological site, which was heavily looted during the civil war.

The Denver Art Museum had reportedly purchased the footless statue in 1986 from the Doris Weiner Gallery in New York.

Full story here.

Cambodia returns artefact fragment to Cleveland museum

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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.

Another Prasat Chen statue returned – Hanuman repatriated to Cambodia

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Returned Hanuman statue. Source: Cambodia Daily 20150513

It was a time for celebration for Cambodia last week when another statue from the Prasat Chen group in Koh Ker was returned to the country from the Cleveland Museum of Art, after it was established that the statue was illegally removed and therefore looted.

Returned Hanuman statue. Source: Cambodia Daily 20150513

Returned Hanuman statue. Source: Cambodia Daily 20150513

US Museum returns looted statue to Cambodia
AFP, via Yahoo News, 11 May 2015

US Museum Returns Hanuman Statue to Cambodia
Cambodia Daily, 11 May 2015

Cambodia welcomes home statue returned by Cleveland Museum of Art
AP, via the News Herald.com, 12 May 2015

Hanuman statue returned (video)
Phnom Penh Post, 13 May 2015

Looted statue comes home
Phnom Penh Post, 13 May 2015

Looted Statue Officially Returned to Cambodia
Cambodia Daily, 13 May 2015

Nearly five decades after a centuries-old statue of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman was looted from a temple in Cambodia, the Cleveland Museum of Art officially handed it over to the government Tuesday during a ceremony at the Council of Ministers building.

Once part of a depiction of an epic battle between two other monkey deities, the statue was carved in the 10th century and housed at Preah Vihear province’s Prasat Chen temple, which was built as part of the one-time Khmer Empire capital of Koh Ker.

Full story here.

Bayon vandalism: Tourist admits to breaking statue

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Following on from last week’s story about a Dutch (but New Zealand resident) tourist who destroyed a Buddha statue in the Bayon. The tourist has since admitted to the New Zealand media that she did indeed destroy the statue, on account of voices in her head. It is not known if she will be prosecuted.

Tourist Admits Breaking Bayon Buddha, Blames Voice in Her Head
The Cambodia Daily, 15 October 2014

‘Voices’ told NZ tourist to sit on Buddha’s lap
Phnom Penh Post, 15 October 2014

Vandalism Suspected at Famed Bayon Temple of Angkor Wat
VOA Cambodia, 14 October 2014

“Possessed” Woman vandalizes Angkor Wat heritage site
NL Times, 14 October 2014

‘I did push over Buddha’
Otago Daily Times, 14 October 2014

Kiwi admits smashing Buddha statue in Cambodian temple
New Zealand Herald, 14 October 2014

Smashed Buddha statue fake – NZ woman
3 News, 14 October 2014

Kiwi says smashed Buddha statue at Angkor Wat was a fake
One News, 14 October 2014
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Cleveland Museum says its Khmer statue not from Prasat Chen

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Hanuman statue at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Source: Cleveland.com 20140513

The Cleveland Museum of Art says that its own statue of Hanuman was not looted from Koh Ker, based on their inspection of the pedestals there.

Hanuman statue at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Source: Cleveland.com 20140513

Hanuman statue at the Cleveland Museum of Art. Source: Cleveland.com 20140513

Statue not coming back: US museum
Phnom Penh Post, 15 May 2014

The Cleveland Museum of Art says it has evidence that its Hanuman sculpture was not looted from Prasat Chen in Cambodia
Cleveland.com, 13 May 2014
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