An official at the Metropolitan Museum of Art spoke to a US law firm, claiming that 12 works had been stolen from ancient Cambodia.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has sent a representative to meet with a prosecutor at a US law firm, reporting that the collection may contain 12 objects stolen from Cambodia.

NS New York City The agency is one of five reportedly owning art purchased from a British dealer, Douglas Latchford.

Latchford died in August 2020 at the age of 88 and was accused of trading stolen relics at the time.

Earlier this month Pandora Papers -A pile of 11.9 million leaked documents detailing the hidden assets of the world’s most influential people-reveals the length Latchford went to hide his path.

In 2011, he and his family turned to a company specializing in helping wealthy families set up offshore companies and trusts, allowing them to avoid tax and government oversight.

Pandora Paper opened the lid of his record and showed that he had sold directly to five museums: the British Museum, the Denver Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Australia, and Met.

A bronze statue depicting the god Harihara is drawn. A similar statue was purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1977, and investigators now believe it may have been stolen from Cambodia.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the most visited museum in the United States and one of the top 10 most visited museums in the world, is currently discussing the sources of 12 works with prosecutors.

Douglas Latchford can be seen shaking hands with Cambodia’s Deputy Prime Minister Sok An in June 2009. Latchford was indicted in 2019 and died a year later in 2020.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has purchased 12 items from Latchford. The Denver Museum has already planned to return the six items identified in the Pandora Papers.

Bangkok-based Latchford associates were indicted in the United States in 2016, and Latchford himself was indicted in 2019.

The scale of Latchford’s activities was revealed by the Pandora Papers, and on Monday Met confirmed that their representative had met with staff from a US law firm.

They said a meeting was sought when “new information” about some parts of their collection prompted them to move closer to the Southern District of New York. Washington post report.

“Recently, in the light of new information about some parts of our collection, we contacted a US law firm – volunteering to be willing to cooperate with any inquiries,” Met said. Said in a statement on Sunday.

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art responds to claims about works of art, restores objects as needed, keeps transparency about the sources of works in the collection, and shares a history of all known ownership for further research. Has a long and well-documented history of supporting scholarship. ”

Photographers will take pictures of Khmer statues at a delivery ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in June 2014. Three ancient Ancorian statues were returned from the United States to Cambodia after being stolen from the Kel Island Temples in Preah Vihear Province in the 1970s.

Angkor Wat, one of the most beautiful temples in the world, has long fascinated both worshipers and predators.

When Cambodia fell into war and turmoil in the 1970s, thieves quickly benefited and plundered many temples.

Cambodia became a paradise for illegal antique traders during the decades of war that began in the 1970s when thieves destroyed the treasures of the ancient Khmer Empire.

The Cambodian government is currently trying to recover the looted treasures, but in many cases they are very well hidden.

Some museums have historically closed their eyes.

In 2013, the Metropolitan Museum of Art returned to Cambodia two 10th-century mosquito statues of “kneeling attendants” donated to the museum at different stages in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Another Harihara sculpture can be seen in India

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently owns a new documentary study that wasn’t available to the museum when the object was acquired,” the museum said. Said At the time.

But Bradley Gordon, a lawyer representing the Cambodian government, told The Washington Post that he didn’t feel the museum was moving fast enough.

He said Met had not contacted government officials there regarding the 12 works identified in the Pandora Papers.

“What’s amazing is that these museums are studying. [the relics’ origins] But they haven’t contacted us, “Gordon said.

“How can they say they are studying when they are not calling their country of origin?”

Among the 12 objects of interest is a sandstone statue of a person called Harihara.

According to the museum, this work is from southern Cambodia and its style is described as “pre-Angkor era”.

Purchased in 1977 from Spink & Son, one of Latchford’s collaborators.

A very similar work appears in Latchford’s indictment, and prosecutors say it was looted.

According to prosecutors, Spink & Son representatives were aware of Latchford’s plans to create false documents about Khmer antiques.

In January 2018, Cambodian Minister of Culture and Arts, Phoeurng Sackona, shows the British ambassador stationed near the National Museum in Phnom Penh.

In a written statement last month, a spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Museum of Art said it was “unknown” whether the Harihara in the collection was the same as the Harihara that the prosecutor claimed to have looted.

Cambodian Minister of Culture and Arts Phoeurng Sackona said he was surprised to learn that Met had obtained so many Khmer relics during the domestic turmoil.

“The Cambodian government never allowed our national treasure to be trafficked to the United States,” she said.

“Today, we want the Metropolitan Museum of Art to act as a moral and fair leader in the global museum community and return our precious looted antiques to our people.”

An official at the Metropolitan Museum of Art spoke to a US law firm, claiming that 12 works had been stolen from ancient Cambodia.

Source link An official at the Metropolitan Museum of Art spoke to a US law firm, claiming that 12 works had been stolen from ancient Cambodia.

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