Wednesday August 15, 2018

Museum in US returns ancient Rama statue belonging to Cambodia

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Image for representation purpose only. Image source: blogspot.com

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: A 10th century Khmer statue of Hindu god Rama was returned to Cambodia by an American art museum today which was reportedly looted from an archaeological site during the 1970s.

The sandstone statue was stolen from Prasat Chen sanctuary in the remote Koh Ker temple and sold to the Doris Weiner Gallery in New York, after which the Denver Art Museum bought it in 1986, it was reported.

The resturned statue of lord Rama from the Denver Art Museum. Image source: thehistoryblog.com
The returned statue of lord Rama, missing some pieces, from the Denver Art Museum. Image source: thehistoryblog.com

“The voluntary return of the statue demonstrates the museum’s sensitivity to the importance of Koh Ker era to the Cambodian culture,” said Cambodian Secretary of State Chan Tani.

Over the past decade, a number of stolen artefacts centuries old have been returned to Cambodia from museums overseas amid ongoing legal battles involving the Cambodian government, aided by UNESCO, to have the artefacts repatriated to the National Museum in Phnom Penh.

“It’s very easy to recognise the style of Koh Ker because statues are extremely massive and at the same time extremely defined,” said Anne LeMaistre, the UNESCO representative to Cambodia.

The repatriated statue is still missing pieces including its head and arms. The government is urging collectors worldwide to return the pieces, which are “part of our soul as a nation”, Tani added. (IANS)

  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Cambodia has been a hub for Hindu temples. Their temples have been given a huge importance recently.

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US Planning For Space Force To Stay Ahead in War

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility

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Space Force
Air Force Gen. Carlton D. Everhart, the Commander of Air Mobility Command, left, holds a binder with a photograph of Air Force One on the cover as he speaks to Navy Adm. Bill Moran, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, second from left, while arriving with other generals and admirals for a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Fla., Dec. 21, 2016. (VOA)

It might sound like science fiction, but the general in charge of the U.S. military’s air transports across the globe says refueling and resupplying the military may soon be a job that’s literally out of this world.

“If I can resupply from space I can go across globe in about 30 minutes,” Air Force General Carlton Everhart, the head of Air Mobility Command, told VOA. “I do truly believe that is the next step. We can really make inroads.”

Everhart says the time gained by using hypersonic craft in space could keep him ahead in “the speed of war,” where competitors China and Russia have been trying to make gains.

The idea of using space deliveries isn’t as far out as it may seem. In fact, industry leaders, companies Everhart hopes to partner with, are already working on this type of technology.

Launch vehicles from companies like SpaceX, Sierra Nevada, and even foreign ventures could “provide tremendous strategic advantage to the U.S. government,” according to Eric Stallmer, the president of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation.

But it’s an advantage that would come with an astronomical price tag of thousands of dollars per kilo.

Experts say the need to transport via space must outweigh these costs, perhaps only being used during the most important of missions.

Todd Harrison, a space and defense expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, points to the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, which killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as a situation where time necessities could overpower cost concerns.

“Imagine if we had been able to launch a SEAL team and put them right down in that compound within 45 minutes of knowing that it was under attack. It could have made the difference,” he said.

The general is not just focused on launching from one point on Earth to another, Everhart also wants to use satellites to preposition cargo in space.

Stallmer said a lot of spaceflight companies are looking at this idea of space refueling depots, including plans to convert those refueling vehicles to habitats within space once they’ve been used.

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The future is full of possibilities, but it is unclear when these technologies will be fully developed. Experts give estimates ranging from a couple of years to more than a decade, but that doesn’t stop Everhart from dreaming.

“The train is leaving the station and we’re going to be on it. And I’m not going to be on the caboose. I want to be in front of, I’m going to be in the front,” he said.

The general says his team is already writing government proposals to make space resupply a certainty for future military mobility. (VOA)