Pillaging Cambodia

The Illicit Traffic in Khmer Art

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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Masha Lafont lives and works near Paris, France.

Bibliographic Details

Masha Lafont
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 207
Bibliographic Info: 59 photos, maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1933-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8383-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vi

Abbreviations and Special Terms      vii

Introduction      1

1. The Illicit Traffic of Art from Cambodia      7

2. The “Demand” Side of the Story      72

3. Impact of Illicit Trafficking on the Cultural and Socio-Economic Systems in Cambodia      93

4. Conclusion      141

Appendix: Restitution of Khmer Art      167

Notes      173

Bibliography      179

Index      195