The Stolen Warriors

This is the story of a spectacular case of robbery that is changing the art world. An iconic temple statue, looted during the chaos of the Cambodian civil war, turns up in Sotheby’s auction catalogue 40 years later – with a price tag of three million dollars. But New York’s attorneys intervene..

In this investigative thriller, we retrace the route of the statue and show how Sotheby’s tried to rescue the deal with extraordinary legal dodges – like arguing that Cambodia cannot prove it ever owned its own heritage.

Director Wolfgang Luck also managed to interview the Bangkok art dealer behind much of the trade in Khmer art. He admits they didn’t care where the treasures came from. And we show that even respected US museums exhibit stolen art. But this film has a spectacular happy end which sets a precedence for the return of stolen artifacts around the world.


  • Year: 2014
  • Duration: 52 mins
  • Production: A&O BUERO & LUCK FILMS
  • Director: WOLFGANG LUCK
  • Available Versions: ENG
  • Country of production: Germany


  • Honorable Mention by Jury for Narration & Honorable Mention in Audience Favorite Competition (The Archaeology Channel International Film and Video Festival, USA 2016); Special Mention "Treatened heritage" at the XVth festival Icronos of Bordeaux 2016; Second Jury Award at the International Archaeology Festival in Split (Croatia); Award for Best Cultural heritage Film & Audience Award (Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival, USA) Rassegna Internazionale del Cinema Archeologico (Italy); The Archaeology Channel International Film and Video Festival (USA); Festival Icronos of Bordeaux (France); Arkhaios Cultural Heritage and Archaeology Film Festival (USA)

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