Cambodia welcomes return of 2 stone statues from Angkor era that were looted during civil war

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Cambodia has welcomed the return of two stone statues from the Angkor era that were looted during the country's civil war and taken abroad, where they remained for the past three decades.

The sculptures are a ninth century Shiva head and a late 12th-early 13th century male divinity head. They were formally handed over Tuesday by a Norwegian collector, Morten Bosterud, at a ceremony in Phnom Penh attended by government officials.

Cambodia's minister of culture and fine arts, Phoeurng Sackona, said the statues are believed to have been stolen from temples in Siem Reap province, home to the famed Angkor Wat temples, and shipped to Europe.

She praised Bosterud for handing back the artifacts.