Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts made a statement regarding the statues returned to the country. Describing the 14 sculptures returned by the Metropolitan Museum on July 3 as "the historic homecoming of national treasures", the statement said that the works were exhibited at the National Museum in the capital Punom Pen with a ceremony. The opening ceremony was attended by invited guests as well as members of the press. The statement also noted that the return of the artifacts was the result of years of negotiations between Cambodia, US Federal Prosecutors and museum officials.

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Minister of Culture Phoeurng Sackona said the artifacts are very important to the Cambodian people, adding that "it is hoped that about 50 other artifacts illegally smuggled from the country will be returned soon." Antiquities smuggler Douglas Latchford, who died in 2020, was indicted in 2019 for trafficking in stolen Cambodian artifacts.

Editor: David Goodman