Cambodian artefacts returned from private collections

A Hungarian collector handed over a number of ancient artefacts to the National Museum of Cambodia on Monday,marking the second time in less than a week that antiques in private collection were voluntarily returned to the Cambodian government.
On Friday, Culture Ministry officials at the Cambodian embassy in London received 10 pieces of Angkorian jewellery from a British gallery, Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art, which had acquired the items from another private collector.
The collection presented to the museum on Monday included eight objects that Zelnik Istvan — the director of the Hungarian South-East Asian Research Institute — had purchased previously, though he did not provide details.
Thai Norak Satya, spokesperson for the Ministry of Culture, confirmed both returns, adding that it was not clear when the pieces had left Cambodia.
“We are grateful for those in the private sector who return (artefacts) to Cambodia, because we lost so many great things during the war,” he said.
Until the country was plunged into civil war in the 1970s, significant collections of Khmer art did not exist beyond Cambodia and France, and few pieces appeared on the market. — dpa