The Metropolitan Museum of Art recently announced it has initiated the return of 14 sculptures to Cambodia and two to Thailand, effectively removing from its collection all Khmer works known by the museum to be associated with the dealer Douglas Latchford. Latchford was indicted for selling antiquities illegally in 2019; following his indictment, The Met proactively reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York and to Cambodian officials, and through this cooperative partnership, the museum received new information about the sculptures that made it clear that the works should be transferred. The Met and the U.S. Attorney’s Office have since signed an agreement to return these works to Cambodia and Thailand. The museum is continuing to review its collection of Khmer art and will be exchanging information on sculptures with officials in Cambodia and Thailand as part of that ongoing research. “The Met has been diligently working with Cambodia and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for years to resolve questions regarding these works of art, and new information that arose from this process made it clear that we should initiate the return of this group of sculptures,” said Max Hollein, the museum’s director and Chief Executive Officer. “The Met is pleased to enter into this agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and greatly values our open dialogue with Cambodia and Thailand. We are committed to pursuing partnerships and collaborations with our colleagues there that will advance the world’s understanding and appreciation of Khmer art, and we look forward to embarking on this new chapter together.” The works of art being repatriated were made between the 9th and 14th centuries in the Angkorian period and reflect the Hindu and Buddhist religious systems prevailing at that time. A number of the sculptures, including the bronze masterpiece “The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Seated in Royal Ease” (late 10th–early 11th century) and the monumental stone Head of Buddha (7th century) will remain on view in the museum’s galleries for South Asian art while arrangements are made for their return to their countries of origin. The Met has partnered in the past with both Cambodia and Thailand, most significantly in the presenting of the major exhibition “Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century” in 2014. The Met has also worked with Cambodia on prior repatriations: In 2013, The Met voluntarily returned to Cambodia two objects known as the “Kneeling Attendants,” which were also associated with Latchford. This move was described as “historic” by Cambodian officials and paved the way for other repatriations to that country and cemented the museum’s strong and productive partnership with its cultural leaders. The Met recently announced a suite of initiatives related to cultural property and the museum’s collecting practices that includes undertaking a focused review of works in the collection; hiring provenance researchers to join the many researchers and curators already doing this work at the museum; further engaging staff and trustees; and using The Met’s platform to support and contribute to public discourse on this topic. A story aired on the show “60 Minutes” on this subject. More information is available on The Met website, visit www.metmuseum.org.