Sunday, 13 June 2021

US returns 27 looted Khmer antiquities

The US has returned 27 Cambodian antiquities – including Angkorian Buddhist and Hindu statues – to Cambodia (Sochan, 'US returns 27 looted Khmer antiquities back to Kingdom', Phnom Penh Post 11 June 2021).

The 27 artefacts were all recovered by the Manhattan DA’s office and the US Department of Homeland Security. They include several Angkorian Buddhist statues and Hindu statues such as a bronze meditating Buddha on a Naga throne, a Shiva idol and a Buddhist sandstone sculpture of Prajnaparamita. The usual speeches were made.

What was not being discussed in the media is where these items physically were after they entered the US, who imported them, when, and why was nothing done that would prevent it? My guess is that at least some of these are Kapoor material, so potentially in the US a decade or more without anything being done about this dealer before somebody else arrested him. Only when shamed, did the DA act.

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