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Authorities Mull Legal Action for Accused Temple Vandal

  • Heng Reaksmey
  • VOA Khmer

Brooding stone faces look down on the Bayon Temple in the ruins of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia on July 5, 1960. The identical faces, all bearing the same smile, are said to be symbols of Jayavarman VII, the last great build

Brooding stone faces look down on the Bayon Temple in the ruins of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire in Cambodia on July 5, 1960. The identical faces, all bearing the same smile, are said to be symbols of Jayavarman VII, the last great build

Cambodian authorities have yet to take legal action against a woman accused of toppling an ancient statue inside the temple complex of Angkor Wat.

Police say Willemijn Vermaat, 40, who currently lives in New Zealand but is a Dutch citizen, sneaked into the Bayon Temple of the complex one night and knocked over a statue.

She was briefly detained the following morning, before the statue was found knocked over, and she appears to have left the country.

A government spokesman said legal action is possible, but it is also a complicated matter now of international law and diplomacy.

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