Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers discover carvings of Buddha in Oddar Meanchey

Villagers discover carvings of Buddha in Oddar Meanchey

Villagers discover carvings of Buddha in Oddar Meanchey

A 1-tonne statue of Buddha lies on the ground in Oddar Meanchey province’s Trapaing Prasat district.

Villagers clearing forest to build a school received a history lesson when they accidentally uncovered two Buddha carvings in Oddar Meanchey province on Wednesday, which authorities suspect were looted and buried by thieves many years ago.

The two statues of Buddha sitting cross-legged in a meditative pose, one weighing close to a tonne, were disturbed by villagers digging in a forest near the Dangrek mountains, far away from their homes, said Oun Reoung, chief of Trapeang Prasat commune where the statues were found.

“They were surprised to see them,” he said.

“We think that they are Khmer artifacts. The carvings show beautiful workmanship,” he said.

Oun Reoung could not confirm the age of the carvings but said they had been sent to Oddar Meanchey provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts for expert analysis.

Hong Yeoun, director of the provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts, said the carvings would be kept with about 50 other artifacts that his department had so far recovered.

“Oddar Meanchey province is an area where almost all of the artifacts are trafficked across [the border] to be sold abroad because we’ve seen many articles in which villagers found artifacts buried

The discovery of the Buddha carvings follows an announcement early last month by the Australian government that it would repatriate 30 Iron Age artefacts that had been posted for sale on the internet auction site eBay.

The artifacts, which included human remains, were believed to have been looted from Cambodia’s northwest, and included earrings and wrist and ankle bracelets.


  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australian police investigating death threat against Kem Ley's widow

    Updated: 10:17am, Friday March 23, 2018 Australian authorities on Thursday confirmed they have launched an investigation into a crudely written death threat sent tothe family of slain political analyst Kem Ley and Victoria state MP Hong Lim. The typed letter, reported to Victoria police last week, is

  • Apparel groups including H&M and Gap urge Cambodia garment industry reform, seek meeting with Hun Sen

    A group representing some of the largest apparel brands in the US and Europe – including Gap, H&M and ASOS – expressed “growing concern” on Tuesday over several controversial labour laws and ongoing court cases against unionists described as restrictive and unjust. In an open letter

  • Cambodia, states clash at UN session

    Cambodia traded shots with the international community in a heated exchange at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday evening, with states condemning the Kingdom’s ongoing crackdown on the political opposition and civil society, and an increasingly agitated Cambodia accusing member states