Pursat town police have yet to find any leads in the case of a missing pre-Angkorian statue lost by a superstitious farmer in July, but earlier this week discovered a statue base they believe could match the headless artefact.
Lest another Kandieng district villager attempt to follow in the farmer’s footsteps by lugging the relic home and returning it only to be stolen later, authorities say they are monitoring the area carefully.
“I saw and took a picture of the pedestal and sent it to the heritage police. We also plan to dig it up and take it to the provincial cultural department after the villagers harvest their rice,” said Soeng Sopheak, chief of Pursat provincial police’s penal office.
But an expert expressed doubt over whether the damaged base matched or even came from the same era as the pre-Angkorian treasure.
“It looks too small and the stone is different,” said Im Sokrithy an archaeologist with Cambodia’s APSARA Authority, on Tuesday.
Still, the provincial culture department plans to survey the area soon.