Federal prosecutors, endeavoring to secure the return of an ancient three-million dollar statue of a Hindu warrior to Cambodia, have accused Sotheby's of conspiring with the artwork's owner to cover up information relating to its illicit removal from a temple in 1972 during the bloody regime of the Khmer Rouge. As proof, prosecutors claim that in 2010, Sotheby's requested that the statue's owner submit an affidavit to American customs officials, stating that the statue was "not cultural property" belonging to the religious site. The government contended that both parties knew that the statue, a mythic Hindu warrior known as Duryodhanna, was stolen when they agreed to ship it from Belgium to New York. In turn, Sotheby's denied the allegations on Tuesday, stating that the government is "straining to bolster a thin case by picking selectively through the evidence provided by the auctioneers."
Read Tom Mashberg and Ralph Blumenthal's full article describing the recent development at: Sotheby's Accused of Deceit in Sale of Khmer Statue.
Check out previous posts in this blog about this developing story: Federal Prosecutors File Court Papers in Case for Repatriation of Cambodian Statue, Global Art Conflict in New York, and Sotheby's Takes Action Against Cambodian Property Claim.