2 historic Khmer statues returned to Cambodia

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State and Cambodia Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, returned two Khmer statues to Cambodia during a repatriation ceremony at the National Museum of Cambodia April 3.

The first item is an 11th Century sandstone Khmer statue torso of the Khleang style wearing a Khmer sampot, a traditional garment of Cambodia. The statue was part of an administrative seizure in 2017, when HSI San Francisco received information regarding the sale at an auction house in California. The auction house owner said the piece was imported in 1992 with a certificate of authenticity issued in Bangkok, Thailand, which identified the item as “Body of Khmer in Angkor Wat.” The antiquity expert determined the statue had a fair market value of $75,000.

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