The statue, a
representation of the Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva, had its head taken in French
colonial times.It was returned
by the Guimet Museum in Paris at Cambodia's request and reattached to the body
culture ministry spokesman said joining the head to the statue felt "like
we are reconnecting the soul of our national heritage".
to our Khmer culture, the reunion is symbolic of prosperity," Deputy Prime
Minister Sok An said at a ceremony in Cambodia's National Museum.
statue had stood in the Phnom Da temple in southern Takeo province before its
head was shipped to France in 1886.
Cambodia has not
ruled out allowing France to display the complete statue, known as Harihara, in
Over the past
few years, Cambodia has sought to return artefacts taken by other countries
without permission. In the past three years, several statues were sent back to
Cambodia by US museums and a private collector in Norway.