News / Arts & Entertainment

US Auction Houses Return Two Ancient Statues to Cambodia

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, left, and Cambodian Cabinet Minister Sok An, at a ceremony marking the repatriation of an ancient Khmer statue, which is shown in a picture. (R. Poch/VOA)
U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, left, and Cambodian Cabinet Minister Sok An, at a ceremony marking the repatriation of an ancient Khmer statue, which is shown in a picture. (R. Poch/VOA)
VOA News
An ancient Khmer statue that is being returned to Cambodia by Christie’s auction house. (R. Poch/VOA)An ancient Khmer statue that is being returned to Cambodia by Christie’s auction house. (R. Poch/VOA)
x
An ancient Khmer statue that is being returned to Cambodia by Christie’s auction house. (R. Poch/VOA)
An ancient Khmer statue that is being returned to Cambodia by Christie’s auction house. (R. Poch/VOA)
Cambodia has officially received two 10th Century artifacts looted from the country more than four decades ago.
 
Sotheby's auction house agreed to return one of the statues after it was sued by the U.S. attorney in New York on Cambodia's behalf.  Christie's auction house is voluntarily sending back the second one.

At a ceremony in New York this week, Cambodian Cabinet Minister Sok An said the return of the artifacts should serve as an example to others.
 
“The Royal Government of Cambodia appeals to all museums and art collectors around the world to follow the examples of returning plundered treasure to their rightful owners as part of the worldwide campaign for the protection of cultural heritage," he said.

The Sotheby’s statue was reportedly stolen in 1972. The company tried to put it up for auction in 2011, but it was pulled at the last minute after a protest from the Cambodian government. The U.S. attorney initiated a case, leading to a settlement in late 2013.

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, called on people in the art world to do their part to combat the trade of stolen artifacts.
 
“Everyone who collects and curates and cares about art needs to be a part of the solution, not the problem," said Bharara. "It my fervent hope that every stakeholder in the art world will be vigilant, will heed red flags and support doing what’s right when it comes to reuniting stolen artifacts with their rightful owners.”
 
The case against Sotheby's led to the Norton Simon Museum, in Pasadena, California, to agree to a voluntary return of a statue on display there, as well.

Thousands of artifacts have been taken over the years from the Cambodia's northwestern Ankor area, which spans more than 400 square kilometers and includes dozens of temples that are hundreds of years old.

This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.

You May Like

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid

New in Music Alley

Soul Lounge

New Orleans-based Water Seed joins Shawna Renee inside the "Soul Lounge" where they introduce listeners to their latest album, a wonderful fusion of jazz, soul and rhythm & blues. The group also explains how the heart of New Orleans influences each of them as musicians and songwriters.