Douglas A.J. Latchford, Khmer Antiquities Expert, Dies at 88

Critics known as the books “groundbreaking” and “filled with new interpretations.” Hab Touch, a Cambodian cultural official, stated the Latchford books “introduced a number of remarkable Khmer sculptures which have been hidden from the world for years.”

But it was onerous to not discover that the books had been crammed as properly with tons of of luxurious photographs of Khmer relics, many far superior to these on show in Cambodia’s museums. Mr. Latchford stated most of the objects had been his personal or held by nameless overseas collectors.

Asked by The Times the place such beautiful works had originated, Mr. Latchford replied, “the ground.” He then added: “When I buy a piece, on principle, I thoroughly research it. I certainly don’t want to buy a piece that has been stolen or anything.”

In a 2010 interview with The Bangkok Post, he stated: “Most of the pieces I have come across in the past years have been excavated, or dug up. You know, there is a farmer in the field who digs something up, and he probably thinks, ‘If I take it to Bangkok or Singapore or a middle man, I can get $100 instead of getting $10.’”

By 2012, Mr. Latchford stated, he had amassed greater than 100 main Khmer artifacts, which had been stored in his London and Bangkok residences; many others, he stated, had been bought or donated to museums and collectors. His London condominium was crowded with sinuous bronze dancing figures and gold-adorned stone deities courting to the seventh century.

When he wasn’t buying and selling in Khmer relics, Mr. Latchford was a devotee of bodybuilding, a well-liked sport in Thailand, and spent freely selling competitions, mentoring athletes and funding coaching amenities. From 2016 till his loss of life, he was honorary president of the Thai Bodybuilding Association. He additionally supported a Cambodian orphanage, Sunrise Cambodia.

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