Ancient Hindu temple statues returned to Cambodia
|A ceremony was held in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh to welcome|
the statues back [Credit: Getty Images]
The statues which were returned from the United States, depict mythological figures Duryodhana, Balarama and Bhima.
Experts said the statues were hacked off their bases and smuggled out, eventually ending up with collectors.
A ceremony was held in the capital city Phnom Penh to welcome the statues back.
|Deputy Prime Minister Sok An places a garland on one of the statues during|
a ceremony in Phnom Penh [Credit: Reuters]
He said the government was asking other museums to return similar objects.
"The facts are now established. These precious symbols of our heritage have returned to their rightful owners," he said.
The 158cm (5ft) statue of Duryodhana was stolen in 1972 and was sold at a London auction in 1975.
|The statues formed part of an iconic Hindu|
battle scene [Credit: BBC]
The statue was transferred back to Cambodia in early May after a long legal struggle.
The second warrior statue, Bhima, was bought in 1976 by the Norton Simon Museum in California.
After months of discussions, the museum agreed to return its statue as a "gift" to Cambodia last month.
|The Cambodian government hopes to recover more |
missing statues [Credit: BBC]
Their return follows two statues from the same temple which were repatriated in June last year, after being displayed at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art for two decades.
Source: BBC News Wensite [June 04, 2014]