U.S. returns 30 more looted cultural artifacts to Cambodia

PHNOM PENH, Aug. 9 (Xinhua) -- The United States has returned 30 more stolen cultural artifacts to Cambodia, Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts said in a statement on Tuesday.

Among those cultural treasures are several important Buddhist and Hindu statues, such as the extraordinary sculptures of "Skanda on a Peacock" and "Ganesha" that were removed about two decades ago from temples at Koh Ker, the former royal capital of the Khmer empire in the 10th century, the ministry said.

Koh Ker was the target of widespread looting over a number of years during past war times, it added.

The U.S. hosted a repatriation ceremony for the antiquities in New York City on Monday, with Cambodia's Ambassador to the U.S., Keo Chhea, in attendance, the ministry said.

The ministry is working with an arts logistics company to arrange the transportation of those objects to Cambodia in due course and there will be a further announcement when those objects arrive in Cambodia, it added.

Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona said the antiquities were stolen from Cambodia over a number of years during a period of war and turmoil.

Sackona extended her appreciation to museums and private collectors for voluntarily returning the national treasures to Cambodia.

In mid-June, the U.S. returned 27 trafficked Cambodian antiquities to the Southeast Asian nation.

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