Jazz In The Sculpture Backyard

Whitney Museum Of Yankee Art

Federal prosecutors in New York disagreed with Sotheby’s claims. They launched a forfeiture action, which allows the government to seize property it believes is linked to illegal activity, and demanded that the auction home relinquish the Duryodhana so it could be returned to Cambodia. The prosecutors ultimately claimed it had been looted within the early Nineteen Seventies and would have been protected by Cambodian law even earlier than that date. After being taken overseas, they mentioned, the Duryodhana and its counterpart, the Norton Simon’s Bhima, have been “obtained by a broadly known collector of Khmer antiquities” who knew they’d been stolen from Koh Ker. “The collector then tried to sell on the worldwide art market,” consigning it to a British auction home, which finally found the Belgian purchaser. They loaded the artifacts onto oxcarts, straining to raise the heavy stone.

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