"Possessed" woman vandalizes Angkor Wat heritage site

A Dutch tourist destroyed a statue in an ancient Cambodian temple complex. According to the woman, she was under the influence of a strange power.

After visiting Angkor Wat and the Bayon Temple, the tourist did not return to her chauffeur. She was found the next morning by staff. The police were called in as it is forbidden to spend the night in a World Heritage site. Security guards discovered the remains of a Buddha statue on the floor of the Bayon temple only after woman was released.

The woman, who lives in New Zealand, admits that she destroyed the statue. According to her the meter high statue does not belong in the temple. She thinks that she was possessed by strange forces during the night.

"A voice told me to clean the temple, because it was the temple of the goddess Innana and not of Buddha." the women says. The Dutch woman, who says she is not religious, threw the statue after a voice instructed her to meditate in the spot where the statue stood. According to the woman it was a replica of the ancient original statue, which would explain why the Cambodian authorities released her without penalty.

The richly decorated Khmer temple was built in the 12th century and is part of Angkor, which includes the world famous temple Angkor Wat. The complex is partly overgrown by vines and jungle and is on the UN's World Heritage List.

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