The heirs of two Jewish collectors, one who sold the work to fund his escape from Germany, and another who had the artwork stolen by the Nazis, will receive financial restitution from the Christie’s sale.
Almost all of the antiquities, worth an estimated $15 million, were seized from the disgraced antiquities dealer Subhash Kapoor.
An investigation by the Cambodian government flagged 45 “highly significant” items in the museum’s collection as looted.
The decision follows discoveries in the leaked Pandora Papers regarding antiquities dealer Douglas Latchford.
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.