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Two Ancient Artifacts To Be Returned by Norwegian Collector


The 10th-century Cambodian sandstone statue form the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is seen in a box during a handover ceremony, at Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

The 10th-century Cambodian sandstone statue form the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is seen in a box during a handover ceremony, at Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

Cambodia has in recent years received hundreds of pieces of antiquity, returned by foreign governments and private collectors alike.

Cambodia will recover two lost artifacts from a Norwegian businessman, officials at the Ministry of Culture said Friday.

The two artifacts—a 9th-century stone head of the Hindu god Shiva and a 12th-century stone head of a male divinity from the Angkorian period—were stolen from the temple complex of Angkor Wat during Cambodia’s years of civil war.

They ended up in the hands of a man named Morten Bosterud, who will hand them over to Cambodian authorities on Tuesday, along with nine other pieces of artwork.

“We’re not sure where they were stolen from,” Minister of Culture Phoeung Sakona said. But she added that their return was a good sign for Cambodia’s diplomatic relationships with other countries.

“We want to get back all those antiques that were stolen,” she said. The return of the two statue heads was a “charitable activity,” and good for “both national and international interests.”

Cambodia has in recent years received hundreds of pieces of antiquity, returned by foreign governments and private collectors alike. In May, the Cleveland Museum of Art returned a 10th-century statue of a monkey god, taken from Koh Ker temple, one of six statues recently returned from the US.

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