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September 18 2013

The smuggling scandal thatís ready to erupt

The return to Cambodia of two tenth-century Khmer sandstone sculptures, which had been displayed for nearly 20 years at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, made headline news around the world this summer. The restitution was greeted enthusiastically by Cambodiaís Council of Ministers when the sculptures, looted from the ancient city of Koh Ker in the 1970s, arrived in Phnom Penh in June. The restitution is now shining a spotlight on the degree of damage to Koh Ker and raises questions about a number of masterpiece sculptures in public and private collections.

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