6 May 2013

Met to return Cambodian statues

7:46 am on 6 May 2013

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has said it will return two 10th century statues to Cambodia after discovering they were stolen.

The Khmer statues disappeared from a jungle temple in Cambodia more than 30 years ago, the BBC reports.

The life-size stone figures have guarded the entrance to the Met's Southeast Asian galleries since 1994.

They were given to the museum in pieces by different donors between 1987 and 1992, and the Met says it wasn't aware at the time that these had been improperly obtained.

The decision to return them follows talks between museum executives and the Cambodian government which says they were looted from an ancient temple in the jungle in the 1970s.