The Khmer Rouge and Archaeology

Paul Barford highlights Elizabeth Becker's trashing of claims by some cultural property "experts" (she was in Cambodia, BTW).

Portable Antiquity Collecting and Heritage Issues: Some Light on Collector's Comment on "Shooting up the Heritage":
During their murderous regime, the one thing the Khmer Rouge protected was that temple complex. They killed or worked to death nearly two million Cambodians, but they preserved those magnificent temples as the symbol of Cambodia’s greatness. In those days would-be thieves would have been hard-pressed to spirit stolen art across the heavily defended border to Thailand. When the Khmer Rouge were overthrown in 1979, some Bangkok collectors were again able to fill their homes and shops with stolen art from the Angkor region.
For the record: Saddam Hussein also cracked down on looters, and it was one of the few offences Iraqis received a public trial for.

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