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Cambodian relics tied to indicted art dealer Douglas Latchford have turned up in the Met, other museums

By Peter Whoriskey, Malia Politzer, Delphine Reuter, Spencer Woodman

05 Oct 2021 · 21 min read

For decades, Douglas Latchford cut a romantic figure: The genial Englishman was an explorer of jungle temples, a scholar and a connoisseur seduced by the exquisite details of ancient sculpture.

Helicoptering into remote Cambodia to visit Khmer Empire cities, he risked land mines to satisfy his curiosity. Beginning in the 1970s, he amassed one of the world's largest private collections of Khmer treasures, mostly Hindu and Buddhist sculpture, the remains of a civilization that flourished in Southeast Asia a thousand years ago. He co-wrote three glossy books on the subject.

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