• The Met is one of several top museums to have displayed looted Cambodian antiquities, a report says.
  • The antiquities are linked to the indicted art dealer Douglas Latchford, The Washington Post said.
  • The findings are based on the Pandora Papers investigation into offshore tax havens.
  • For more stories visit Business Insider.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is one of several prominent museums to have displayed looted Cambodian antiquities, according to a report by The Washington Post.

The Post said that it and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) embarked on a "treasure hunt" for antiquities suspected to have been looted from Cambodia by the late art dealer Douglas Latchford. The hunt came after The Post and the ICIJ investigated 11.9 million documents dubbed the Pandora Papers.

Latchford was indicted by the Justice Department in 2019 over allegations that he trafficked in looted Cambodian antiquities. He denied these claims until his death in 2020.

The Post reported that Latchford and his family established trusts in tax havens shortly after investigators began linking him to the looted artifacts. The newspaper said that Latchford used an offshore trust for transactions involving the looted Cambodian items.

"Dozens" of looted artifacts tied to the indicted dealer remain in prominent collections, the Post said, also naming the British Museum.

The museums told the Post that they took precautions to ensure acquired items weren't stolen, adding that provenance standards had changed over time. They didn't immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.

Since allegations against Latchford came to light, some museums have made efforts to return stolen Cambodian artifacts. The Met sent back two tenth-century stone statues in 2013 that had been looted from Koh Ker, Cambodia. Latchford's daughter, Nawapan Kriangsak, also led an effort following her father's death to return $50 million worth of antiquities to Cambodia.

The Post is expected to soon publish further details about its investigation into how offshore companies are used to conceal wrongdoing in the global art trade.


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