Japan's Angkor art: Booty or fair exchange?

24 Dec 2013 7:25 PM | Anonymous

Japan's Angkor art: Booty or fair exchange?
By Julie Masis

PHNOM PENH - Museum authorities in Tokyo doubtless took note this month of an agreement by the Sotheby's auction house in New York on December 16 to return to Cambodia a 10th century Khmer statue, known as the Duryodhana, said to have been looted in the 1970s during Cambodia's civil war. The move follows the return in June of two similarly old Khmer statues that had been on display for 20 years at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Visitors to Japan's most renowned museum are often impressed by its extensive collection of Angkor art from Cambodia. The Tokyo National Museum has the largest collection of ancient Angkor sculptures in Japan, as well as ceramics that experts say are generally of a higher quality than most of those on display in Cambodia's own museums


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