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AC’s Top Ten Most Wanted Campaign Featured by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project

January 18, 2022

Following the file for civil forfeiture of Khmer artifacts looted and trafficked from Cambodia, the U.S. Department of Justice has demanded the repatriation of a highly sought-after antiquity to its Khmer origins, reported the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project on January 18, 2022. This relic has been on the list of “most wanted” antiquities by the Antiquities Coalition for years. While it is yet to be verified, this would be the first instance of an antiquity from the 10 Most Wanted list to be discovered and returned.

“For years, the Antiquities Coalition had the more than 1,000-year-old Ganesha statue on its top ten most wanted list of looted artifacts.”

While the artifact was originally looted and trafficked by the notorious antiquities dealer, Douglas Latchford, the statue was found in the possession of James H. Clark, the founder of Netscape and WebMD. He stated to have “naively” acquired a large collection of Cambodian antiquities with no knowledge of their illicit origins. In response to the realization of this knowledge, he has decided to forfeit the trafficked artifacts, hoping to set an example for others who have traded hands with artwork that has been passed through the illicit trade.

The Antiquities Coalition supports Clark’s choice to forfeit the antiquities, as an organization dedicated to combating not only the looting and trafficking of antiquities, but also the possession of ill-gotten pieces of cultural heritage.

“‘We are grateful for his cooperation and hope that this example inspires others to do the right thing, so more of the world’s top ten missing antiquities can return home,’ stated the Antiquities Coalition.”

Read the full article from OCCRP here.