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Cambodia welcomes the return of ‘priceless’ Angkor jewelry

PHNOM PENH: Cambodian leader Hun Sen on Friday unveiled a collection of stolen Angkorian crown jewels recently returned to the kingdom after decades in Britain, and asked for the return of other long-lost treasures.

Golden crowns, necklaces and amulets were among the treasures of the Angkorian period, which lasted from the 9th to the 14th century AD, when the Khmer Empire ruled large parts of Southeast Asia.

The Cambodian Ministry of Culture described the items, which are expected to be exhibited in the national museum, as “priceless cultural heritage”.

“I appeal to museums, institutions and collectors of Khmer artifacts to continue to voluntarily return these items to Cambodia,” Hun Sen said at the ceremony.

“Heritage should be returned to their country of origin.”

The Culture Ministry last month discreetly received 77 pieces from the family of the late, disgraced British art dealer Douglas Latchford, who died in Bangkok in 2020.

Two 10th-century sculptures recently returned by the United States were also on display on Friday.

Dominic Williams, the British Ambassador to Cambodia, tweeted that it was an “extraordinary privilege to see these previously stolen artefacts displayed in their ancestral home”.

When he died in 2020, Latchford was awaiting trial in the United States on art dealing charges, and that same year his family agreed to return the antiques to Cambodia.

The family returned five stone and bronze artifacts in 2021.

Thousands of antiques and artifacts were stolen from Cambodia during the conflict and genocide of the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.

Last year, the United States returned 30 looted items, including bronze and stone statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities carved more than 1,000 years ago.

The Cambodian government has been negotiating with other countries, including the United States, and private collectors to return more Khmer artifacts to the kingdom.

Source: Crypto News Deutsch

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