Leaving aside the merits of Cambodia's claim to a valuable statue that was to be auctioned off at Sotheby's, this latest fracas in the cultural property wars again suggests appeasing the archaeological lobby does little but encourage escalating demands. For more, see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/arts/design/sothebys-caught-in-dispute-over-prized-cambodian-statue.html
If Sotheby’s thought hiring a former prosecutor who has developed strong contacts with the archaeological community would win friends and influence people within the archaeological community, it was wrong.
Also, if anyone thinks 1970 provides a safer harbor to repatriation claims, the archaeological lobby's recourse to a 1925 law to press this claim also suggests that 1970 may not be the "safe harbor" date the archaeological community initially claimed as well.
Yes, appeasement leads to little but escalating demands for more.