Friday, May 30, 2008
Two of Banteay Chhmar's Avalokiteshvara stolen in 1998 were subsequently recovered and returned for safekeeping to the National Museum in Phnom Penh in 2000, where they are displayed today. Whilst they were held temporarily in Bangkok, a friend of mine, Lisa Cox, took these photos. These priceless artifacts were rescued from the clutches of the thieves, destined most likely for antique dealers in Bangkok and from there to anywhere in the world, in an unprecedented act of co-operation between the Thai authorities and their Cambodian counterparts. We only hear the negative furore over Preah Vihear these days, but this example of collaboration in returning these artifacts to their rightful owners, should not be forgotten.
This Avalokiteshvara has one head and six arms, and to the left is a smaller kneeling figure with eight arms. Lots of smaller worshipping figures are also present