Pillaging Cambodia: The Illicit Traffic in Khmer Art

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McFarland, Oct 5, 2004 - Art - 207 pages
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The illicit traffic of art is an important problem that affects modern life all over the world. This work addresses the issue using the showcase of Cambodia, where looters systematically destroy cultural heritage. Beginning with an overview of Cambodian history and culture, it explores every aspect of the illicit traffic of Cambodian art. It analyzes the history, size, and structure of art trafficking in Cambodia, its growth and profit margins, and the participants and international crime syndicate involved. It also describes the "demand" side of the story: antique dealers, collectors, auction houses, and museums. The work deals with the impact of the illicit trafficking on the legal, political, and economic systems of Cambodia, as well as its effect on archeological, historical, and religious values and the cultural identity of the nation. The work also analyzes the current long-term and short-term policies proposed by the Cambodian government and suggests policy alternatives that may be implemented by the Cambodian authorities. An appendix includes the description of all cases of the restitution of objects of Khmer art.
  

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he illicit traffic of art is an important problem that affects modern life all over the world. This work addresses the issue using the showcase of Cambodia, where looters systematically destroy cultural heritage. Beginning with an overview of Cambodian history and culture, it explores every aspect of the illicit traffic of Cambodian art. It analyzes the history, size, and structure of art trafficking in Cambodia, its growth and profit margins, and the participants and international crime syndicate involved. It also describes the "demand" side of the story: antique dealers, collectors, auction houses, and museums. The work deals with the impact of the illicit trafficking on the legal, political, and economic systems of Cambodia, as well as its effect on archeological, historical, and religious values and the cultural identity of the nation. The work also analyzes the current long-term and short-term policies proposed by the Cambodian government and suggests policy alternatives that may be implemented by the Cambodian authorities. An appendix includes the description of all cases of the restitution of objects of Khmer art. 

Contents

Introduction
1
The Illicit Traffic of Art from Cambodia
7
The Demand Side of the Story
43
Impact of Illicit Trafficking on the Cultural and SocioEconomic Systems in Cambodia
64
Conclusion
112
Restitution of Khmer Art
138
Notes
144
Bibliography
150
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Masha Lafont has worked for UNESCO (Paris) in the department of protection of cultural heritage. She lives and works near Paris, France.

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