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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sotheby's trying to resolve Cambodia relic dispute

By ULA ILNYTZKY Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Sotheby's is working to help return an ancient statue to Cambodia after the government claimed it had been illegally removed from the country decades ago.

The New York auction house said Wednesday it withdrew the 1,000-year-old relic a day before a March 2011 sale at the request of Cambodia, which also asked Sotheby's to arrange for its return. Sotheby's says the government did not allege that the statue had been stolen by the current owner.

The sculpture of a mythical warrior had been estimated to sell for up to $3 million.

Sotheby's says the owner is a European collector who purchased it from a London dealer in 1975.

The auction house is trying to resolve the dispute by looking for a buyer who would donate the statue to Cambodia.


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