Cambodian sculpture return is a win-win

Three Cambodian sculptures have been formally returned, and then loaned back to the National Gallery of Australia.
Cambodian monks blessing sculptures in gallery setting

A sculpture that was part of the breaking provenance story back in 2013 – which led to the National Gallery of Australia (NGA)’s Asian Art Provenance Project – has been handed back to the Kingdom of Cambodia in a formal ceremony.

It, along with two other ninth to tenth century bronze sculptures, had been acquired into the NGA’s Asian Art Collection in 2011, at a cost of US$1.5 million (AU$2.3 in today’s figures), purchased from the late art dealer Douglas Latchford.

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Gina Fairley is ArtsHub's National Visual Arts Editor. For a decade she worked as a freelance writer and curator across Southeast Asia and was previously the Regional Contributing Editor for Hong Kong based magazines Asian Art News and World Sculpture News. Prior to writing she worked as an arts manager in America and Australia for 14 years, including the regional gallery, biennale and commercial sectors. She is based in Mittagong, regional NSW. Twitter: @ginafairley Instagram: fairleygina