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Koh Ker statues set to arrive on Tuesday

Two 10th-century Cambodian statues that New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to repatriate will arrive in Cambodia on Tuesday, Ek Tha, spokesman for the Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit, said yesterday.

Last month, the Met decided to return the life-sized Kneeling Attendants after finding sufficient evidence that they had been looted from the Koh Ker temple complex in the 1970s.

“After more than 30 years of being away from their homeland, finally the two statues will return home,” Tha said. The statues will arrive just in time to be displayed in Phnom Penh’s Peace Palace during UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee meetings from July 16 to 27, he added.

Following the meetings, which mark Cambodia’s first chairmanship of a UN committee, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts would decide on the statues’ permanent location, Tha said.

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