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Found: Buddhist sculpture’s lost legs

The missing piece of a Buddhist sculpture of Hevajra, which has been on display in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, has been found in Cambodia.

The legs of the sandstone carving, which dates back to the 12th century, were stumbled upon by a British archaeologist this summer. He had been trying to find the spot where French archaeologists first discovered the sculpture’s remains in 1925 near Angkor Thom, the walled city of King Jayavarman VII (1125-1215). Instead, to his amazement, he found the statue’s legs “just lying there on the jungle floor”.

Dr Peter Sharrock, a senior teaching fellow in the art and archaeology of Southeast Asia department at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, said the French archaeologists must have removed the bust, but left the legs, unaware of the artefact’s significance.

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