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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs

New in Music Alley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Harry Wayne Casey – “KC” of KC and the Sunshine Band – comes to VOA’s Studio 4 to talk with "Border Crossings" host Larry London and perform songs from his new album, “Feeling You! The 60s.”