U.S. returns stolen artifacts to Cambodia

18:14, June 17, 2010      

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The United States has returned seven pieces of antiques to the Cambodian government, U.S. Embassy officials in Phnom Penh said Thursday.

The seven pieces of Angkorian artifacts including an engraved plinth that weighs almost 200 kilograms and Buddha heads were presented to Khim Sarith, secretary of state of Ministry of Fine Arts and Culture and Sbaung Sarath, governor of Sihanoukville province.

The return of the artifacts was presented during the arrival of the U.S. hospital ship, USNS Mercy which is planned to dock in Cambodia for a two-week humanitarian mission.

The artifacts were recorded back between 1000 and 1500 AD or from the Angkor period.

Cambodia and the United States signed a bilateral agreement in 2003 in a move to limit or prevent illegal import of any archeological objects.

Cambodia highly commends the United States for good cooperation in the prevention efforts in particular on any stolen artifacts originated from Cambodia.

Cambodia has claimed that the country had lost many artifacts stolen by rogue people during the civil war period that started in late 1970 through 1990s.

However, over the past decade, Cambodia has asked for cooperation from several countries for the return of those suspicious stolen artifacts.

Source: Xinhua


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