Cambodia negotiating return of ancient statue | Connect Asia

Cambodia negotiating return of ancient statue

Cambodia negotiating return of ancient statue

Updated 5 March 2012, 10:56 AEDT

An ancient Cambodian statue, described as a sandstone masterpiece, has been pulled from public sale by auction house Sotheby's after claims it was looted in the 1970s.

The statue dated back to the mid 900s which makes it around 200-years older than statues found at Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat.

It's a warrior in an elaborate headdress about 1.5 metres tall but it was snapped off at the feet from it's stone pedestal.

It was expected to fetch up to $US3-million at auction but it was withdrawn from Sotheby's last year after an approach from the Cambodian Government.

Now, the US Department of Homeland Security has opened an investigation into the case following Cambodia's request.

But there's another twist to the tale, with the discovery of a 1925 French law that could change the rules for Cambodia's antiquities.

Presenter: Liam Cochrane

Speaker: Tess Davis, Executive Director of the Lawyers' Committee for Cultural Heritage Preservation

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