Stolen Oudong Relics to Be Returned Next Year

A set of Buddha relics stolen from inside a stupa atop Kandal province’s Oudong Mountain in 2013 and later recovered will be returned to the stupa in May next year, according to the site’s security chief.

The relics—said to be hair, teeth and bones of the Buddha—were stolen in December 2013 and have been kept at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh since they were recovered at the home of a Takeo province farmer.

On Tuesday, Oudong Mountain’s head of security, Tim Ton, said the relics would be returned to the stupa in a year, to coincide with the Visak Bochea holiday, when the faithful celebrate Buddha’s birth, enlightenment and attainment of nirvana.

“The national festival committee announced at its meeting on May 1 that the Buddha relics will be brought back to the stupa on Visak Bochea day next year,” he said.

Mr. Ton said the stupa had already been upgraded with an alarm system, but that officials did not want to return the relics this May because it was an odd year in the Buddhist calendar.

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