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Looted ancient Khmer statues returned to Cambodia from US

Published on Jun 3, 2014 8:42 PM
 
Cambodia Deputy Prime Minister Sok An (right) looks on as Jeff Daigle (left), deputy chief of mission for the US embassy in Cambodia, lays flowers at a ceremony for the return of 10th century statues in Phnom Penh on June 3, 2014 after they were welcomed home four decades after they were taken out of the country. Cambodia on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, officially welcomed the return of three ancient statues looted from the kingdom more than 40 years ago, including one retrieved after a long legal battle in the United States. -- PHOTO: AFP

PHNOM PENH (AFP) - Cambodia on Tuesday officially welcomed the return of three ancient statues looted from the kingdom more than 40 years ago, including one retrieved after a long legal battle in the United States.

The authorities say the 10th-century sandstone artworks were stolen in the 1970s as the country was gripped by civil war, from the Koh Ker temple site near the famed Angkor Wat complex.

The statues, part of a nine-strong ensemble, depict warriors "Duryodhana" and "Bhima" locked in combat - as well as a bystander called "Balarama".

They were recently returned from the US and are considered pieces of extraordinary value to the Cambodian people and part of their cultural heritage.

 
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