Saturday, 6 May 2017

Ancient Artefacts Returned to Cambodia from London

A London private collector returns to Cambodia a collection of Khmer gold tied to Douglas Latchford, Emma Bunker. (Ben Paviour and Ouch Sony, 'Ancient Artifacts in London Returned to Cambodia' The Cambodia Daily.  April 24th, 2017)
The Culture Ministry received 10 Angkorian gold jewelry pieces in a ceremony in London on Friday after they were handed over by a private collector, in a case that exemplifies the murky international trade in ancient Khmer artifacts. According to a statement released by the ministry the same day, representatives from the U.K. gallery Jonathan Tucker Antonia Tozer Asian Art, which listed the items for sale, presented the pieces to officials from the Cambodian Embassy in London. [...] details remain unclear regarding how the artifacts left Cambodia in the first place, the identity of the private collector who owned them and the motivation behind their return. [...] The gallery owner declined to elaborate on the identity of the jewelry collector or the involvement of Neil F. Perry, whom the ministry statement identified as a restorer for the gallery who aided in the items’ return.
One wonders whether this relates in some way to London-based restorer, Neil Perry-Smith who is reported to have worked on Cambodian material in the past.
Some of the jewelry returned on Friday appears on the cover and in the pages of “Khmer Gold: Gifts for the Gods,” a 2008 book co-authored by Bangkok-based art collector Douglas Latchford and Emma C. Bunker, a U.S.-based expert on Khmer antiquities.
Vignette: The cover of the Latchford book

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