Seventy-seven pieces of lost Cambodian ancient jewellery, handed over by family of the late antique collector, Douglas Latchford, returned to Cambodia from Britain, said a press statement from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, yesterday.
Arriving in Cambodia last Friday, gold and other precious metal pieces, made during the pre-Angkorian and Angkorian periods, included crowns, necklaces, bracelets, belts, earrings and amulets, the statement said.
A number of them had been featured in the book Khmer Gold: Gifts of the Gods, co-authored by Emma C. Bunker and Douglas A.J. Latchford (2008), the statement said, adding that, many of the objects had never been seen by the public before.
The statement said, this returned collection was in addition to other stone and bronze artefacts already returned from Britain to Cambodia in Sept, 2021.
Cambodian Minister of Culture and Fine Arts, Phoeurng Sackona, said, peace and political stability had given an opportunity for Cambodia to reclaim those invaluable treasures, which had been looted from the kingdom during the war, decades ago.
“The repatriation of these national treasures opens a new era of understanding and scholarship, about the Angkorian empire and its significance to the world,” she said.
Sackona also called on private individuals, museums and other institutions around the world that are in possession of Cambodian artefacts, to return them to the country.
“We consider such returns as a noble act, which not only demonstrates important contributions to a nation’s culture, but also contributes to the reconciliation and healing of Cambodians, who went through decades of civil war,” she said.
On Sept 18, 2020, the family of Latchford agreed to give his entire extraordinary collection of Cambodian antiquities back to Cambodia, after three years of negotiations, according to the ministry.
Source: NAM News Network