Tech titan surrenders Cambodian relics sold by indicted dealer amid broader repatriation push

Netscape co-founder Jim Clark paid millions for antiquities bought from alleged trafficker Douglas Latchford, whose secret offshore dealings were exposed in the Pandora Papers.

Dozens of ancient relics hacked from Cambodian temples and other historical sites and allegedly trafficked to the United States are headed home after a prominent tech billionaire, James H. Clark, the co-founder of Netscape, agreed to return them.

The 35 relics from Clark’s private collection include a monumental sandstone sculpture that once adorned an ancient Khmer capital city and bronze sculptures from near Angkor Wat. Clark obtained the items more than a decade ago, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in Manhattan federal court, from the late Douglas Latchford, a British art dealer indicted in 2019 for allegedly trafficking hundreds of antiquities from Southeast Asia.

“For the Cambodian people, these lost treasures are of enormous importance,” said Bradley J. Gordon, legal advisor to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. “Their return is expected to bring prosperity, serenity and pride to Cambodia.”

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