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US returns to Cambodia dozens of antiquities looted from historic sites

The south-east Asian country’s archaeological sites – including Koh Ker, a capital of the ancient Khmer empire – suffered widespread looting in civil conflicts between the 1960s and 1990s.

The antiquities, including a 10th-century sandstone statue depicting the Hindu god of war Skanda riding on a peacock and a sculpture of Ganesha, were voluntarily relinquished by US museums and private collectors after his office filed civil forfeiture claims. Both sculptures were looted from Koh Ker, the US attorney’s office southern district of New York said.

In 2014, federal prosecutors returned the Duryodhana, a looted 10th-century sandstone sculpture, to Cambodia after settling with auction house Sotheby’s, which had acquired it.

Last year, the Manhattan district attorney’s office returned 27 looted antiquities to Cambodia.

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