Rolf Akeby from Sweden, right, celebrates in Siem Reap after shipping 2000 kg of
local sandstone craft sculptures, to be sold through his small shop in Stockholm.
This is Akeby's retirement interest after a career working with international development
assistance programs in Asia, the South Pacific and Eastern Europe.
"These days it is mainly a hobby of mine to travel around and purchase items
which preferably can be seen in a historical and ethnological context, like new sandstone
sculptures in pre-Angkor and Angkor styles," he said.
" This is beautiful art work and I am happy to be able to help some people in
Siem Reap to get an income. By encouraging young people to learn how to make sandstone
sculptures, I feel I am supporting a very old profession, which otherwise might die
"I have a small shop in Stockholm, but as I am mostly travelling, the business
is limited as the shop is often closed. I have no idea if these sculptures will be
in demand in Sweden, but I always buy what I like myself then I hope others may have
the same taste."
Akeby said the opportunity for him to buy for export was due to the Cambodian government
encouraging the development of traditional craft. Government approval was still required
to ship goods out. - Richard Woodd