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Stolen Artifacts Found in Siem Reap

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
Authorities check one of the artifacts found in an abandonded car on Tuesday. Supplied

Two ancient sandstone artifacts dating from the 10th century were confiscated after being found in a car pulled over by officials in Siem Reap province’s Banteay Srei district on Tuesday night and are now being kept at the district police station.
 
The Apsara Authority, the government body that manages the Angkor Archaeological Park, said the artifacts were made of sandstone and looked like they came from the top of a temple, preliminarily concluding they were from the 10th century.
 
The Apsara Authority added that experts could not identify where the artifacts had been taken from and would study them in detail once legal proceedings were completed.
 
District police chief Meoun Saravy told Khmer Times yesterday that the two artifacts were being kept at the district police station and had yet to be sent to the Apsara Authority as police were still investigating the identity of the suspects who escaped.
 
“We have not identified the suspects yet. We’re doing research. We have also not yet identified the place where the suspects took these ancient artifacts from and where they were going to send them to,” he said.
 
Mr. Saravy said at about 8pm on Tuesday, a car traveling at high speed presumed to be carrying luxury wood was seen by forestry officials and military police patrolling the area. They followed the car until Banteay Srei district’s Tbaeng commune.
 
He added that the suspects knew they were being followed and ditched the car, fleeing into a house nearby before escaping on foot. Police then checked the car and discovered the artifacts.
 
Mr. Saravy said police were working to find the suspects and punish them according to the law.
 
The larger of the two artifacts measured 0.5 meters wide and 0.9 meters high, while the smaller artifact measured 0.38 meters wide and 0.88 meters high.

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