$3.8m stolen antiquities returned to the US from Cambodia !!

PHNOM PENH (Reuters) – The US has repatriated 27 antiquities to Cambodia, including Hindu and Buddhist statues, after years of labor by NY investigators to recover the smuggled artifacts.

Valued at about $3.8 million, the things included several Hindu and Angkorian Buddhist statues, like a bronze meditating Buddha on a Naga, a statue of Shiva, and a Buddhist sandstone sculpture of Prajnaparamita.

“The repatriation of those 27 stunning relics to the people of Cambodia restores a crucial link between the nation’s classical Angkor era and its modern customs and beliefs that, for much too long, was disrupted by the greed of stolen antiquities traffickers,” Manhattan DA Cy Vance Jr said during a statement.

Cambodia’s Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Phoeurng Sackona said the antiquities were the “missing souls” of the country’s ancestors.

The Cambodian items were among nearly 400 being returned to 10 countries after investigations by Manhattan’s Antiquities Trafficking Unit and Homeland Security Investigations.

U.S. authorities last week returned to Thailand https://reut.rs/3pF8Qog two 680 kg (1,500 lb) stone carvings stolen decades ago, which had been on display at a San Francisco museum.

(Reporting by Prak Chan Thul; Editing by Martin Petty)

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