The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts and the Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Washington, DC will work with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the repatriation of ancient Khmer artifact that has just been seized by the latter in San Francisco, California.
“On September 12, 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Francisco Special Agent David Keller, with assistance from HSI New York Special Agent John Paul Labbat, seized an ancient Cambodian sandstone sculpture dating back to 921-945 AD and valued at approximately $350,000,” said ICE in its release dated October 7.
“Described as a Shiva and Uma statue, the artifact was discovered during an ongoing HSI New York investigation dubbed “Indochinese Peninsula Plunder” in the Southern District of New York,” it added
“Originally purchased by a private collector in California, the statue was discovered for sale at a prominent San Francisco auction house following the collector’s death in 2015.”
“It will be returned to the Cambodian people at the conclusion of this HSI-led investigation,” underlined ICE.