Stolen Cambodian sculptures worth over $35M finally returning home

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Stolen Cambodian sculptures worth over $35M finally returning home

Finally, some good karma.

Dozens of ancient Cambodian sculptures worth more than $35 million are going home, years after they were stolen, brought to the US and sold off in a long-running fraud by disgraced art dealer Douglas Latchford.

The 34 sculptures are bronze, gold or sandstone, span the 8th, 10th, 11th and 12th centuries and include depictions of Buddha, and Hindu deities such as Vishnu, Shiva and Garuda, according to court papers filed this week by the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Latchford, who lived in Thailand where he died in August 2020 at age 89, was indicted in 2019 on wire fraud and other charges for arranging to sell the stolen antiquities in New York and London, but the case was dismissed after his death.

The sculptures were turned over to the US government by the collector who purchased them from Latchford, identified in reports as Netscape founder James H. Clark.

Three of the 34 stolen works, which date from the 8th through 12th centuries.
Three of the 34 stolen works are seen here, which date from the 8th through 12th centuries.

Clark and other collectors who bought from Latchford were duped by the falsified and faked documents he provided, according to Ricky J. Patel, the New York Acting Special Agent in Charge for the US Department of Homeland Security.

“HSI New York will not rest in its efforts to locate all the antiquities related to Latchford’s fraud and see that each piece of history is not just found, but sent home,” Patel said.

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