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Museum Will Return Khmer Statues to Cambodia

Monday, May 06, 2013

NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK—The Metropolitan Museum of Art has agreed to repatriate to Cambodia two life-size, tenth-century statues known as “The Kneeling Attendants,” based upon evidence suggesting that the statues had been looted from the Koh Ker temple complex during Cambodia’s civil war. Witnesses place the statues at the temple complex as late as 1970, and officials at the museum were presented with photographs of the statues’ broken-off bases, which remain in situ. The Met received the statues as two heads and two torsos as separate gifts between 1987 and 1992. “This is a case in which additional information regarding the Kneeling Attendants has led the museum to consider facts that were not known at the time of the acquisition and to take the action we are announcing today,” Thomas P. Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum, said last Friday.