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California Museum to Return Ancient Statue to Cambodia

8 May 2014

The Norton Simon Museum has agreed to return a 10th century statue that may have been looted from a Cambodian temple during that country’s genocidal civil war in the 1970s. “Temple Wrestler,” a sandstone figure missing its hands and feet, has been displayed at the museum for nearly four decades. The 1.5-meter-high work depicts Bhima, a heroic figure in the Hindu epic Mahabharata, in a fighting pose. The museum officials is returning the statue “as a gesture of friendship, and in response to a unique and compelling request by top officials in Cambodia to help rebuild its ‘soul’ as a nation,” the Pasadena museum said.—AP