Sotheby’s Files Papers to Stop Cambodian Statue Export

The catalogue listing for the lot in question. (Courtesy

The New York Times reports that Sotheby’s filed papers yesterday as part of an effort to prevent the repatriation of a 10th-century statue the house had planned to sell in March 2011, but pulled from the auction over claims from Cambodian representatives that it had been looted in the 1970’s.

More details about from that story:

…Sotheby’s argued, among other things, that under the Cambodian laws, the government needed to expressly declare its ownership of particular items, and that this never occurred with the statue, a point Cambodia disputes.

The story has an archaeologist calling this claim “inaccurate and unconvincing.”