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Collection Of Centuries-Old Cambodian Jewelry Returned Home

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(CTN NEWS) – PHNOM PENH – The most recent treasure to be recovered from the estate of renowned antiquities dealer and collector Douglas Latchford, who was charged with purchasing and reselling looted artifacts, is a stunning collection of centuries-old Cambodian jewelry.

This treasure is the latest to be returned to the Southeast Asian nation.

Cambodian Jewelry Returned Home On Friday With 77 Pieces

The Latchford family collection of 77 pieces of Cambodian jewelry returned to their home country on Friday, according to a report released on Monday by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia.

Crowns, necklaces, bracelets, belt buckles, earrings, and amulets made of gold and other precious metals from the Pre- and Angkorian and Angkorian periods were among the objects in the collection, according to the statement.

Visitors may see the remnants of Angkor, a significant empire that ruled modern-day Cambodia from the ninth to the fifteenth century, at the well-known Angkor Wat temple complex.

A magnificent collection of cent

This photo released by the Union Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC) shows centuries-old Cambodian jewelry on display at a room of Latchford family in London on Feb. 14, 2023. (Union Youth Federations of Cambodia via AP)

Stone And Bronze Objects Returned In September 2021

According to the ministry, parties involved in transferring the items included Hun Many.

A lawmaker and the youngest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the ambassador of Cambodia to the United Kingdom, staffers from the British Foreign Office, the Art & Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police in London, and the Arts Council England.

Following a September 2020 deal with Latchford’s family, which stipulated that all Cambodian antiquities in their possession would be restored to Cambodia, the artifacts were returned.

In September 2021, additional stone and bronze objects were returned.

Latchford, a well-known specialist and trader in Cambodian and Indian artifacts, passed away in Bangkok, Thailand, where he lived for many years, in August 2020 at 88.

This photo released by the Union Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), shows jewelry on display at a room of Latchford family in London, on Feb. 14, 2023. A spectacular collection of centuries-old Cambodian jewelry has been returned to the Southeast Asian country, the latest treasures to be retrieved from the estate of well-known antiquities collector and dealer Douglas Latchford, who was accused of buying and selling looted artifacts. (Union Youth Federations of Cambodia via AP)

This photo released by the Union Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), shows jewelry on display at a room of Latchford family in London, on Feb. 14, 2023.(Union Youth Federations of Cambodia via AP)

Latchford Charged With Wire Conspiracy

He was charged with wire fraud conspiracy in November 2018, along with other offenses allegedly connected to the trafficking of stolen and looted Cambodian artifacts.

It charged him with fabricating “fake provenances,” records describing how and where the items were acquired and “falsified invoices and shipping documents” to hide their provenance.

According to experts, most of the objects he handled were plundered from Cambodia during times of conflict and unrest, especially in the 1970s when the nation was ruled brutally by the communist Khmer Rouge.

Latchford has previously denied being involved in any illegal activity, including smuggling. The indictment against him was ultimately dropped since he passed away before he could be extradited to the United States to answer for his crimes.

At least 30 sculptures and artifacts made of sandstone and bronze were either returned to Cambodia by their owners voluntarily or as a result of legal action after he passed away. These included things kept at Colorado’s Denver Art Museum.

The return of these national treasures ushers in a new age of knowledge and scholarship about the Angkorian empire and its relevance to the globe, according to Dr. Phoeurng Sackona, minister of culture of Cambodia, who was mentioned in the announcement from the ministry.

A magnificent collection of cent 1

This photo released by the Union Youth Federations of Cambodia (UYFC), shows centuries-old Cambodian jewelry on display at a room of Latchford family, in London, on Feb. 14, 2023. (Union Youth Federations of Cambodia via AP)

“Private individuals, museums, and other organizations worldwide that have Cambodian artifacts are encouraged to cooperate with the Royal Government of Cambodia through the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts or through Cambodian embassies to return Cambodian cultural heritage objects,” she urged.

It quoted her as saying,

“We regard such returns as a noble act, which not only demonstrates significant contributions to a nation’s culture but also aids in the healing and reconciliation of Cambodians who endured decades of civil war and suffered greatly due to the tragedy of the Khmer Rouge genocide.”

As awareness of cultural item theft has grown in recent years, Thailand, Cambodia’s western neighbor, has also successfully recovered ancient riches illegally trafficked overseas.

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Alishba Waris is an independent journalist working for CTN News. She brings a wealth of experience and a keen eye for detail to her reporting. With a knack for uncovering the truth, Waris isn't afraid to ask tough questions and hold those in power accountable. Her writing is clear, concise, and cuts through the noise, delivering the facts readers need to stay informed. Waris's dedication to ethical journalism shines through in her hard-hitting yet fair coverage of important issues.

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