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1,000-Year-Old Statues of Lord Shiva Returned Home After 24 Years

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PHNOM PENH: Two 1,000-year-old statues of Lord Shiva, which disappeared from Cambodia in 1998, have been paraded and returned from the National Museum of Phnom Penh to its original location in Banteay Chhmar temple, in Banteay Meanchey province, on Saturday, 30 July.

The procession of the two Lord Shiva statues was attended by officials of the Ministry of Culture and many other senior officials.

The President of Banteay Chhmar Tourism Community, Mao Si, told EAC News that there were a total of eight statues missing from the temple. Now that two have been returned, six still remain to be found.

The director of the Banteay Meanchey Provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts, Yang Taing Kuy, also confirmed to EAC News that the statues were erected in the late 12th and early 13th centuries.

He said, "The statues of Lord Shiva disappeared in 1998, after smugglers stole and took them to Thailand.”

In 2000, the Royal Government of Thailand found and returned the statues to the Royal Government of Cambodia, keeping them at the National Museum in Phnom Penh until now. With the help of Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, the statues have now been returned to their original home.

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