How one man carried out the greatest art heist in history – the looting of Cambodia’s entire cultural heritage – with the aid of Western academics, dealers and curators. This is the story the art world doesn’t want told.
For 50 years, Douglas Latchford was the world’s premier expert on Cambodian art, supplying priceless statues to Western museums and rich collectors. But his fame masked a dirty secret. Douglas had colluded with the Khmer Rouge, a genocidal regime, to loot Cambodia’s entire cultural heritage. As the country descended into bloodshed, Douglas stole almost everything. A network of art world cronies were on hand to help him sell these blood statues, including a senior curator at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. When a band of art sleuths get on their case, Douglas and his co-conspirators mount a rearguard action to save themselves. This is a story the art world doesn’t want told. Unlike the Elgin Marbles, and other brewing controversies over stolen art, our story isn’t ancient history. This tale is happening now.
This special will air on Friday March 31st at 10 AM and 8 PM here on 88.3 FM KCPW.
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