Cambodia's statue of Bhima on display at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California. Pic: AP.

PASADENA, California (AP) — A California museum says it has reached an agreement to return a 10th century statue known as the “Temple Wrestler” to Cambodia.

The announcement was made Wednesday by the Norton Simon Museum and Norton Simon Art Foundation in Pasadena, where the statue has been on display for nearly four decades.

The sandstone work depicts Bhima, a heroic figure in the Hindu epic Mahabharata.

A statement from the museum characterizes the return as a gift and a gesture of friendship in response to a unique request by top officials to help rebuild Cambodia’s “soul” as a nation.

Arrangements for the return will be announced at a later date.

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