Another Ancient Sculpture to Be Repatriated to Cambodia

A statue of Skanda on a Peacock, an amazingly valuable Khmer treasure, will be returned to Cambodia, Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts said, underlining that the masterpiece will allow Cambodian people and the world to regain invaluable knowledge about Cambodian culture and ancient history.

In a press release dated July 16, the ministry pointed that the U.S. government, led by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and Homeland Security Investigations, has filed a civil forfeiture action relating to an invaluable sculpture known as Skanda on a Peacock from Cambodia.

The cooperation between the two bodies led to the seizure of the sculpture from the prior owner, who voluntarily relinquished the possession, the ministry added.

The masterpiece is believed to be from Prasat Krachap, part of the temple complex of the former royal capital of the Khmer Empire of Koh Ker in the 10th century, it indicated.

Koh Ker was the target of widespread looting over a number of years during a period of war and unrest.

The repatriation of the statue testifies to Cambodia’s continuing commitment to finding and bringing back the ancestors’ souls that departed from their motherland over a number of years, during a period of war, said H.E. Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts.

“We are thrilled whenever we are able to re-acquire many of our precious cultural properties that have been illegally exported from Cambodia,” she said.

H.E. Dr Phoeurng Sackona sincerely thanked and praised the efforts of the U.S. government and relevant authorities both abroad and in Cambodia for their support for the return of Khmer artifacts to Cambodia.

“We are proud of our joint efforts and cooperation between governments of our two countries with respect to restoring the country’s cultural heritage for the benefits of all humanity, particularly Cambodia’s younger generation, so that they can learn the value of these treasures that are cultural identity,” she said.

According to H.E. Minister, Skanda, the Hindu God of War, is rarely depicted in Cambodian art, but appears to have featured prominently in the Prasat Krachap temple complex.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press