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“The world has failed Darfur on past occasions, condemning millions to a horrific fate. World leaders must do better this time.”

Back to Cambodia

The U.S. ambassador to Cambodia this week handed over a priceless piece of history to the Southeast Asian nation.

Ambassador Joseph A. Mussomeli presented a piece of a sandstone sculpture of an Apsara dancer to Him Chhem, acting minister of culture and fine arts, in a ceremony at the National Museum in the capital, Phnom Penh.

The head of the dancer was smuggled out of Cambodia in violation of a bilateral agreement between the two nations to protect ancient Khmer stone, metal and ceramic archaeological items. The sculpture dates from about 1200.

The agreement was signed Sept. 19, 2003, but is retroactive to Dec. 2, 1999. Cambodia cited U.N. conventions to assist countries in protecting their national treasures when it asked the United States to help it protect its ancient artifacts.

c Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.