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Cambodia to seek return of statues from NYC museum

NEW YORK (AP) – The Cambodian government says two ancient statues on display at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art were stolen from the country decades ago, and should be returned.

The sandstone figures are called the Kneeling Attendants. For nearly 20 years, the 10th-century statues have been a highlight of the museum’s Southeast Asian collection.

But The New York Times reports (
http://nyti.ms/L7RrrC) that a Cambodian agency believes the life-size statues were taken from a jungle temple sometime around 1970, along with other pieces looted as the country descended into civil war.

The Met got the statues as a gift, with the first piece arriving in 1987. Museum officials say they don’t know where the donors obtained them.

Archaeologists say the statues were at Cambodia’s Prasat Chen temple for 1,000 years.

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