cambodia museum

US museum returns looted statue to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH: An American museum on Monday returned to Cambodia a 10th-century sandstone sculpture of the Hindu god Rama decades after it was looted from a jungle temple during the kingdom’s civil war.

The 62-inch-tall torso, which was stolen in the 1970s from the Koh Ker temple site near the famed Angkor Wat complex, was handed over by the Denver Art Museum at a ceremony in Phnom Penh. The statue — still missing its head, arms and feet — had been in the museum’s possession since 1986, the Cambodian government said in a statement.

“We are joyful with the torso of Rama returning home,” Cambodian official Yim Nolson said at the ceremony, adding that the joy was tempered by the fact that the head was still missing and its whereabouts unknown.

“The royal government of Cambodia appeals to all museums and collectors around the world to follow this good example by returning the Rama’s head to Cambodia,” he added. AFP