Thailand: Case of the Missing Vishnu

Case of the Missing Vishnu

Archaeologists in Thailand have spent years assembling thousands of stone blocks to restore the Temple of Phnom Rung, a monument of the Khmer dynasty (A.D. 802-1250). A key part of the temple has mysteriously turned up 10,000 miles away at Chicago's Art Institute, and the Thais are demanding it back.

The ancient block, which once adorned the temple entrance, has sat, almost unnoticed, at the institute since 1967. It bears an exquisite carving depicting the Hindu god Vishnu, who is said to have created the world from an ocean of milk. Thailand wants the lintel returned in time for the official...

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