Sunday, 29 Jan 2023

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In this three-part special report, The Denver Post investigates the role of “The Scholar” in a decades-long illicit antiquities smuggling operation that left ancient Cambodian temples plundered for big money.

Before her death last year, Emma C. Bunker, a longtime Denver Art Museum consultant, played an integral role in helping her close friend and confidant, the disgraced collector and dealer Douglas Latchford, sell and market his looted collection of prized relics to wealthy buyers and prominent museums — including Denver’s.

The series highlights the cozy nature between curators, scholars, museums and dealers — and how incentives align to allow the dirty world of the international art market to proliferate.

The Post’s year-long investigation included on-the-ground reporting in Cambodia and Thailand, a review of hundreds of state and federal court documents, and interviews with 34 art experts, government officials, former looters, cultural heritage investigators, and Bunker’s friends and contemporaries. The Post also examined dozens of private emails from Latchford’s computer, which his family shared with the Cambodians after his death.

Read The Post’s Looted investigation here:

— Full story via Sam Tabachnik, The Denver Post 

Looted: Stolen relics, laundered art and a Colorado scholar’s role in the illicit antiquities trade

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See more great photos like this on The Denver Post’s Instagram account.

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