RETURNING CAMBODIA’S TREASURES: SCULPTURES FROM KOH KER AND BEYOND – TAASA Review June 2016
Melanie Eastburn I ssues of provenance, ethics and ownership of works of art have led to a series of sculptures being returned to Cambodia in recent years.
Perhaps best-known is the Duryodhana (the eldest of the hundred Kaurava brothers in the Hindu Mahabharata epic) that was due to be auctioned by Sotheby’s New York in 2011 but withdrawn after Cambodia requested its return on the grounds it had been stolen in the 1970s.
US Department of Homeland Security launched an investigation into its illegal importation, and court processes were instigated before the sculpture was voluntarily returned to Cambodia in late 2013 (Velioglu, Bandle and Reynold 2014). Fragments of sculptures found at Prasat Phnom Da, Cambodia, 1935...