A US District Judge ruled Turkey “slept on its rights” to the figurine by waiting until 2017 to seek its return, after it had been on view at the Metropolitan Museum for decades.
“We never stopped making the bronzes even after those ones were stolen,” said a founding member of the Ahiamwen Guild. “I think we make them even better now.”
Many had previously decried the decision not to restitute the work, alleging that the museum had more to gain by keeping the important painting than the heirs.
The two objects will again be utilized in Siksika ceremonies.
The widespread looting of antiquities was common in Cambodia from the mid-1960s into the 1990s.
The 1,500-pound lintels from the ninth and 10th centuries hail from protected religious sanctuaries in northeastern Thailand.
Germany’s advisory commission recommended the work be returned even though it was sold “outside of the National Socialist sphere of influence.”
The Edo Museum of West African Art in Benin City is being considered as a future home for the returned artifacts.
The looted status of the stele has been well documented since the 1980s, but it wasn’t until this year that the FBI and Dallas Museum of Art collaborated to return the religious artifact.
Germany’s advisory commission on Nazi-looted art also recommended the return of a painting by Erich Heckel to the heirs of Jewish journalist Max Fischer.
The remaining work was returned by the estate of Cornelius Gurlitt, son of an art dealer who built a private collection in the process of helping the Nazis sell stolen art.
The National Institute for Anthropology and History in Mexico says 30 objects in the sale belong to the country’s national patrimony, and three others are fake.