Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Angkor jewellery returned




Angkor jewellery returned

A gold crown, believed to have adorned a statue at Angkor Wat, was recovered by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and brought back to the Kingdom on Saturday.
A gold crown, believed to have adorned a statue at Angkor Wat, was recovered by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and brought back to the Kingdom on Saturday. Fresh News

Angkor jewellery returned

An ancient set of gold jewellery stolen from Cambodia and lost for decades was finally returned to the Kingdom Saturday morning, more than one year after the government first petitioned for its return.

Officials celebrated the homecoming with an elaborate parade from Phnom Penh International Airport to the National Museum. The set – which includes a crown, necklaces and earrings – is believed to have once adorned a statue at Angkor Wat, where the items were looted during the Khmer Rouge regime, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts.

“This is a successful mission of all Cambodians, including diplomats and people who love the arts and antiques. Everyone is happy,” Chuch Phoeun, secretary of state at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, told AFP Saturday.

The Cambodian government spent more than a year negotiating the return of the jewellery after discovering the artefacts in the online catalogue of a London art dealer, including more than six months preparing paperwork after the dealership agreed to return them in April, according to ministry spokesman Thai Norak Sathya.

Norak Sathya said the ministry invited the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia – a student group led by Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son Hun Many – to make a joint announcement about the return “because we wanted youth to participate”.

Over the course of decades of French colonialism and later civil war, when there was scant oversight of cultural heritage, countless historical artefacts were stolen, many of which are now being returned.

It is not known how the jewellery was stolen, but the pieces appear prominently in a book written by two Southeast Asian antiquities experts who are accused by New York district prosecutors of conspiring with a prominent Manhattan art dealer to traffic antiquities. The art dealer, Nancy Wiener, is next scheduled to appear in court in New York on February 20.

MOST VIEWED

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia