PHNOM PENH, April 21 (Xinhua) -- London-based Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art has returned to Cambodia a set of Angkorian-era gold jewels that were taken from the country illegally decades ago, according to a statement from Cambodia's Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts on Friday.
The antique dealer voluntarily delivered the gold artifacts, including a head cover, a pair of pectoral ear pendants, a pair of earrings, a necklace, a pair of armband, an upper-waist band and a lower-waist band, to the Cambodian embassy in Britain on Thursday, the statement said, adding that the jewels were used to decorate statues during the Angkorian period between the early 9th century and the early 15th century.
Cambodia identified the gold artifacts when the antique dealer placed them for sale in November 2016, the statement said. The Cambodian government then demanded the dealer to remove them from its sale and to give them back, it added.
"The voluntary return of the artifacts truly reflects the enhancement of the value of the Cambodian cultural properties," Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona said in the statement.
She expressed her appreciation to the British government for actively helping the Cambodian government to take back the artifacts.
Meanwhile, the minister also appealed to other museums and collectors around the world that are illegally possessing Cambodian artifacts to return them to Cambodia, saying that they are invaluable assets for the nation and people of Cambodia.