A bas-relief sculpture of the Buddha was recently returned to its original place in Banteay Chhmar temple in Banteay Meanchey province on July 29, following 20 years of preservation at the National Museum in Phnom Penh.

The bas-relief, which was looted during the civil war era, was returned to Cambodia more than 20 years ago after it had been seized in Thailand in 2000.

A departure ceremony was held for the statue as it was dispatched from the National Museum. It was presided over by Men Sam Orn, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the National Assembly Senate Relations and Inspection, and Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona.

Cambodia called on other countries, museums and collectors to cooperate and return all looted pieces the Kingdom. In recent years, dozens of pieces had been returned, notably from the US.