A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

Special Introductory Offer!

California Museum Will Return Statue to Cambodia

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


Cambodian-Water-DancerPASADENA, CALIFORNIA—Officials from the Norton Simon Museum have agreed to return a tenth-century statue known as the Bhima, or Temple Wrestler, after talks with government officials from Cambodia. The Bhima is one of several statues thought to have been looted from the Koh Ker site during the 1970s. One of them is the Bhima’s twin, the Duryodhana, which had recently been put up for auction, but will also be returned to Cambodia. “These statues were all plundered from Cambodia. They are war loot. They are stolen property,” Tess Davis, a cultural heritage attorney and an affiliate researcher at the University of Glasgow, told the Los Angeles Times. The museum had purchased the statue from an art dealer in New York in 1976.