A Botched Restoration Left These Ancient Cambodian Statues With Swapped Limbs

Now properly pieced together, the sculptures of Hindu deity Krishna are on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Conservators at the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) and the National Museum of Cambodia (NMC) recently solved a nearly 1,500-year-old sculptural jigsaw puzzle with the help of 3-D scanning and modeling technology.

The researchers corrected the botched restorations of two statues, both of which depict the Hindu deity Krishna as a young boy. The sculptures were carved around 600 C.E. to decorate adjacent manmade cave temples on the mountain Phnom Da, in what is now southern Cambodia, according to a CMA statement.

By the time archaeologists excavated the Krishnas in the early 20th century, the statues had been broken into fragments. One of the incomplete Krishnas was transported to Europe and acquired by the CMA in 1973. A few years later, conservators attached some newly unearthed fragments—a thigh, two calves and two feet—to the statue, mistakenly believing them to be the correct fit.

In full: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/museums-swap-stone-limbs-and-restore-two-cambodian-masterpieces-to-their-former-glory-180979072/

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