"Claimants deny knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of the allegations set forth in ... the Verified Complaint." That is the refrain found in 23 paragraphs of answers filed by Sotheby's and Decia Ruspoli di Poggio Suasa in the case of United States of America v. A 10th Century Cambodian Sandstone Sculpture.
Sotheby's arranged importation of the Statue from Belgium to the United States and that prior to doing so, Sotheby's obtained documented provenance (in the form of a 1975 invoice from an auction house that speaks for itself and to whose contents Claimants refer the Court) establishing that the Statue had been sold in London in 1975, a time when Cambodia had enacted no clear and unambiguous laws declaring itself the owner of all antiquities in Cambodia.
U.S. authorities seek title to the Duryodhana sculpture in order to repatriate it to Cambodia. Prosecutors allege that the cultural object is from the Prasat Chen temple at Koh Ker, and that it's feet remain in Cambodia. Despite efforts by the claimants to dismiss the case, the court refused their request on March 29.
Hat tip: Gary Nurkin
This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2010-2013 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited. CONTACT INFORMATION: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com