Cambodia welcomes the Met’s repatriation of centuries-old statues looted during past turmoil

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apnews.com/article/looted-artwork-antiquities-l…

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — The return to Cambodia this week of 14 sculptures that had been looted from the country during a period of war and unrest is like welcoming home the souls of ancestors, Cambodia’s culture minister said Thursday.

The items repatriated from New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Ar t arrived Wednesday and were displayed to journalists and VIPs on Thursday at the National Museum in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

They “were made between the 9th and 14th centuries in the Angkorian period and reflect the Hindu and Buddhist religious systems prevailing at that time,” the museum said in a statement this week.

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Cosmonauticus

Return stolen antiquities.

Ppl arguing they'll be taken care of better in western museums is nothing but blatant racism. Americans would pop a testicle if we had to fly across the Atlantic to see the bill of rights.

hoshikarakitaridia

And some of these artifacts are much more meaningful to those foreign countries than the bill of rights. A lot of stuff in there has huge sentimental value to the families in there as it literally represents their ancestors to them.

John Oliver had a great episode about Museums where he explains all of this.

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This is the best summary I could come up with:


They “were made between the 9th and 14th centuries in the Angkorian period and reflect the Hindu and Buddhist religious systems prevailing at that time,” the museum said in a statement this week.

A statement from Cambodia’s Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts said the “historic homecoming of national treasures” followed several years of negotiations between Cambodia’s art restitution team, U.S. federal prosecutors in New York, investigators from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Metropolitan Museum.

“These returns contribute to the reconciliation and healing of the Cambodian people, who endured decades of civil war and suffered tremendously from the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge regime,” Phoeurng Sackona said.

These include not only ancient Asian artworks, but also pieces lost or stolen in turmoil in other places, such as Syria, Iraq and Nazi-occupied Europe.

Cambodia’s Culture Ministry highlighted two works among those returned that are expected to be restored by reuniting them with other parts already in their possession

“Moreover, a significant returned artifact is a 10th century bronze head of the deity Avalokiteshvara, which the Ministry highly anticipates finally being reunited with its matching torso, currently on display at the National Museum of Cambodia,” it said.


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