The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts on March 17 held a ceremony to celebrate the return of a number of Cambodian artefacts, in the presence of Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Peace Palace.

The priceless cultural heritage items, representing the souls of manifold generations of Cambodians, were illegally taken abroad during the long periods of civil war and unrest in the recent past, the ministry stated in a press release.

“The peace brought by the Win-Win Policy under the wise leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen has provided a golden opportunity for Cambodia to guide the souls of our ancestors and precious treasures to their homeland, which brings happiness and harmony for the nation and the Cambodian people,” the release said.

The return of the latest batch of artefacts was “made possible” thanks to the involvement of the Cambodian and US governments, additional countries with “close” relations with the Kingdom, national and international experts, public and private institutions, and other partners, it added.

The ministry has been negotiating with institutions and private collectors to recover additional Cambodian artefacts, with support from foreign governments, it said, underscoring that each item returned fills Cambodians with pride, excitement and heartfelt gratitude.

“May the souls of the Cambodian ancestors who return to their homeland help bring the Kingdom of Cambodia peace, prosperity and harmony forever.”