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Research from AC’s Tess Davis and Trafficking Culture Quoted in ABC Australia

July 21, 2022

Looted antiquities are usually traced back to a smuggling network that reaches all corners of the global art market. In a research paper, Simon Mackenzie of Trafficking Culture and Tess Davis, Executive Director of the Antiquities Coalition, explore the anatomy of a trafficking network and identify the lynch-pin as a “Janus,” the Roman god who wears two faces:

“He is Janus — one face looking into the illicit past of an artefact and one looking into its public future where that dark past is concealed — the point of transition, or gateway between local looting and the international art market.”

Mackenzie and Davis’ research was quoted by Mario Christodoulou, an investigative journalist for ABC Australia, who detailed the secret history of Australia’s Khmer antiquities. Christodoulou writes that Peng Seng sold ancient Thai and Khmer sculptures, but Seng’s “Janus” is Douglas Latchford, who is widely known for trafficking antiquities during the Cambodian civil war.

Read the full article here.