Cambodia Is Seeking 2nd Statue

29 Sep 2012 2:26 PM | Anonymous
Cambodia Is Seeking 2nd Statue

The Cambodian government has asked the United States to help it recover a 10th-century Khmer sandstone statue from the Norton Simon Museum in California. It says the work was looted from a Cambodian temple complex during the country’s political upheavals in the 1970s.

The request was revealed by prosecutors in federal district court in Manhattan on Thursday, during hearings involving a matching statue that the United States government has sought to impound from Sotheby’s. The sculptures, each five feet tall and 600 pounds, depict mythical warriors. The one at the Norton Simon, in Pasadena, Calif., has been on display since 1980, and although Cambodian authorities have long known it was there, they had not sought its return until now.

In the case involving the Sotheby’s statue, on Thursday, Judge George B. Daniels cast doubt on whether the government could prevail in its effort to seize the work, based on the filings it has made.

“This isn’t the strongest case of knowledge of stolen property and ownership by clear and unambiguous language,” Judge Daniels said. He said the government had “significant hurdles to overcome,” and that he would rule in 30 to 60 days on a motion by Sotheby’s lawyers to dismiss the case.



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