The United States will return to Cambodia 30 looted antiquities, including bronze and stone age statues of Buddhist and Hindu deities carved more than 1,000 years ago. The south-east Asian country’s archeological sites – including Koh Ker, a capital of the ancient Khmer empire – suffered widespread looting in civil conflicts between the 1960’s and 1990’s. Cambodia’s government has since sought to repatriate stolen antiquities sold on the international market. The antiquities, which include a 10th-century sandstone statue depicting the Hindu god of war Skanda riding on a peacock and a sculpture of Ganesha, were voluntarily relinquished by US museums and private collectors. The antiquities will be displayed at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh. “It’s like a returning of the souls of our culture back to our people,” said Keo Chhea, Cambodia’s US Ambassador.

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