Thursday, 20 June 2024

Australia makes amends for the historical wrongs

After an examination revealed that three bronze statues from the ninth and tenth centuries were likely unlawfully transferred, Australia‘s National Gallery will restore them to Cambodia.

The statues were purchased by British art dealer Douglas Latchford in 2011 for $1.5 million. Latchford was later charged with engaging in the smuggling of antiquities.

Amends for the historical wrongs

After being accused of trafficking in stolen and looted Cambodian artifacts, Latchford passed away in 2020. The exhibition sees the sculptures’ reappearance as a chance to right a historical wrong.

Susan Templeman, Australia’s special envoy for the arts, commended the donation of sculptures to Cambodia as a chance to right historical wrongs. The Australian government and the government of Cambodia collaborated on the problem, and Chanborey Cheunboran, Cambodia’s ambassador, welcomed the momentous occasion.

  • Australia’s National Gallery to restore unlawfully transferred bronze statues to Cambodia.
  • Latchford’s Cambodian artifacts reappear, aiming to right historical wrongs.
  • Rijksmuseum and Horniman Museum restore stolen artifacts to Nigeria.

While the Cambodian government constructs a new residence in Phnom Penh, the statues of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Padmapani, Bodhisattva Vajrapani, and Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Padmapani will stay on exhibit in Australia for up to three years.

To correct the wrongs committed against numerous nations during colonial rule, museums all across the world are returning stolen artifacts.

The renowned Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam committed to hand over hundreds of artifacts stolen from Indonesia and Sri Lanka last month, and the Horniman Museum in London pledged to restore some of its treasures to Nigeria more than a century after British forces had taken them.

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