News Release

Cleveland Museum of Art and the Government of The Kingdom of Cambodia Announce the Voluntary Return of 10th-Century Sculpture

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

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Phnom Penh and Cleveland, May 12, 2015 – The Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia and The Cleveland Museum of Art announced today that the Museum has agreed to return to the Kingdom of Cambodia a tenth-century sculpture of Hanuman acquired by the Museum in 1982. The return of the Hanuman will allow Cambodia to reconstruct a multi-figured tableau associated with the eastern gate of the Prasat Chen Temple at the historic site of Koh Ker. The Museum initiated the return of the sculpture based on new information about the provenance of the Hanuman provided by Cambodia and on the basis of its own research into the history of the piece, as well as the Museum’s wish to support the Cambodian project of reuniting the sculptures from Prasat Chen.

His Excellency Chan Tani, Secretary of State of Cambodia, expressed his government’s appreciation for the return of the sculpture and the opportunity that it will provide for reuniting the various sculptures once located at Prasat Chen. He added that “The voluntary return of the Hanuman demonstrates the Cleveland Museum of Art’s sensitivity to the importance of Koh Ker to the Cambodian people. The return also highlights the serious looting that has occurred in our country.” Dr. William M. Griswold, Director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, noted that “We are pleased to welcome a new chapter in our long collaboration with Cambodia. The return of the Hanuman will facilitate Cambodia’s plans to reconstruct a most important Khmer temple. Furthermore, this gesture paves the way for future cooperation between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Cleveland Museum of Art. We look forward to working with our colleagues in Cambodia for many years to come.”  

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