top of page
Ancre 1

Arts: Official Handover of 14 Cambodian Cultural Artifacts from Metropolitan Museum of Art to Cambodia

The official handover of 14 Cambodian cultural artefacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Cambodia took place on Thursday at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

The event was presided over by H.E. Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts.

"This historic homecoming of our national treasures from one of the largest cultural institutions in the world, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (the MET), followed several years of negotiations between the Cambodian restitution team, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and representatives of the MET," the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts stated.

The repatriation includes the extraordinary stone sculpture of a 10th-century female goddess (Uma) from the ancient royal capital of Koh Ker. In 2021, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts successfully located the foot of the sculpture at the Koh Ker temple complex. Based on testimony from former looters, it was determined that the body of the sculpture had been looted in 1997. Finally, the Uma will be reunited to achieve its full magnificence as one complete statue.

Official Handover of 14 Cambodian Cultural Artifacts from Metropolitan Museum of Art to Cambodia

Another exceptionally rare and expertly crafted statue is a late 10th-early 11th century bronze Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, designated by the MET as "Seated in Royal Ease". The sculpture was sold to the MET by Douglas A.J. Latchford in 1992.

The MET itself described Mr Latchford as a dealer with questionable practices. Furthermore, a significant returned artefact is a 10th century bronze head of the deity Avalokiteshvara, which the ministry is keen to reunite with its matching torso, currently on display at the National Museum of Cambodia. The head is believed to have been looted in the 1990s and the torso was found in a river in the 1930s, in Battambang.

Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating

Merci pour votre envoi !

bottom of page