Skip to main content

tv   Our World  BBC News  May 14, 2022 4:30am-5:01am BST

4:30 am
this is bbc news — the headlines: israeli police have beaten mourners carrying the coffin of the aljazeera reporter shireen abu akleh whose killing in the occupied west bank has caused a surge of anger. there's been widespread condemnation of police officers for their use of force. officers say stones and bottles were thrown at them. the us defence secretary is calling for an immediate ceasefire in ukraine in his first conversation with his russian counterpart since the invasion began. it's now 79 days into the war and russian troops are intensifying their attacks in parts of the south—east , which are now seeing some of the heaviest fighting. sri lanka's new prime minister has told the bbc an economic crisis is going to get worse before it gets better.
4:31 am
the country has been rocked by demonstrations over soaring prices, power cuts and a lack of medicine. ranil wickremesinghe was appointed in an attempt to defuse the protests. now on bbc news, our world. temples across cambodia have been looted. there are ancient treasures torn away. well, 0k. i've got exclusive access to the sites they were stolen from and speak to the temple raiders who did the looting. this one? for many cambodians, these cultures are much more than just stone objects. now
4:32 am
cambodia is fighting back, demanding that some of the biggest museums in the world return their antiquities.- return their antiquities. these museums _ return their antiquities. these museums and _ return their antiquities. these museums and these - return their antiquities. these l museums and these individuals are in receipt of stolen property and the stolen property and the stolen property needs to come back. angkor wat is the beating heart of cambodia. this temple has beenin of cambodia. this temple has been in continuous use for over 900 years. cambodia is one of the poorest countries in asia,
4:33 am
but many will spend what little they have to come here. everyone, it's believed, has to make the journey to this complex at least once. but even though angkor wat is central to this population's identity, many of its greatest treasures are gone. so this is a contrast you will see repeated over and over again cambodia's most famous temple. there is a carving dating back to the 12th century in perfect condition just one pillar over, this carving has been completely removed by looters. we simply don't know where it's gone. i mean, look at these bits. the head has been taken off, hand has been taken off, fingers are gone. on this one, i mean, it's just been logged off right at the top. you canjust imagine a looter would cut that, take it,
4:34 am
smuggled across the border, probably into thailand and maybe to an auction house. we simply don't know where this has gone. the same thing has happened in thousands of temples, including this one, 100 kilometres to the east of angkor wat. 100 kilometres to the east of angkorwat. for 100 kilometres to the east of angkor wat. for many cambodians, the missing statues are thought to have souls. they are thought to have souls. they are notjust stone, are they? they are definitely notjust are notjust stone, are they? they are definitely not just a stone for us. we never think, this is only the statue, but the spirit of ancestor. sokya mis is an — the spirit of ancestor. sokya mis is an archaeologist - the spirit of ancestor. sokya mis is an archaeologist with | mis is an archaeologist with the cambodian ministry of culture. when he saw the statue broken into pieces, how did you feel physically when you saw something like that? i feel physically when you saw something like that?- something like that? i feel ain, i something like that? i feel pain. i feel _ something like that? i feel pain, ifeel sad. _
4:35 am
something like that? i feell pain, i feel sad. sometimes something like that? i feel. pain, i feel sad. sometimes i pain, ifeel sad. sometimesi just don't want to see it, to tolerate as appealing. ijust don't want to see something like that. it hurts me a lot. sometimes i hear how people destroyed the temple. i feel like, oh, my god, that is so painful to hear. this is a very beautiful mail statue. sopheap ist in: beautiful mail statue. sopheap is trying to _ beautiful mail statue. sopheap is trying to make _ beautiful mail statue. sopheap is trying to make things - beautiful mail statue. sopheap is trying to make things right l is trying to make things right again. she is part of the cambodian government investigative team that is trying to reclaim stolen statues. it's a mammoth task. that tracing the histories of objects across hundreds of museums and private collections. from sydney to san francisco. leading the team is american lawyer brad gordon. we are american lawyer brad gordon. - are tracking about 100 museums and so we've compiled, based on
4:36 am
publicly available information, compiled lots of them motion about cambodian pieces that are out there, so there are about a couple of thousands of people —— pieces we are tracking. you know these statues were taken out of the ground and we know they didn't get permission so we are now asking the museums and private collect is, prove to us that you are allowed to have these pieces. —— collect doors. we are doing targeted excavations and the excavations are coming up with remarkable fines like pedestals which in some cases, using modern technology, you know it's most likely a perfect match. like a foot match is a piece that's in a major museum.— foot match is a piece that's in a major museum. that's exactly what happened _ a major museum. that's exactly what happened with _ a major museum. that's exactly what happened with these - a major museum. that's exactly what happened with these huge | what happened with these huge warriors statues, the team's biggest success to date. —— warrior. the tops of the statues were once on display in
4:37 am
the us but it was the perfect match of their feet left behind in cambodia that proved they'd been stolen. they are now reunited, the pride of cambodia's national museum. the cambodian authorities are now on the hunt for more treasure. they are tracing —— tracing the looters who originally dug up the antiquities. we looters who originally dug up the antiquities.— the antiquities. we have a whole network _ the antiquities. we have a whole network of - the antiquities. we have a i whole network of informants the antiquities. we have a - whole network of informants who are working and we are going site to site, where we understand they came from, and interviewing people in that area and then collecting all that information.— area and then collecting all that information. the former looters who _ that information. the former looters who become - that information. the former - looters who become government witnesses have all been given codenames to try to protect their identities. right now, we are on our way to see a woman they call the iron princess.
4:38 am
the iron business doesn't want to be identified because she fears other looters may come after her for revealing crimes committed decades ago. the temple the iron princess looted stood for almost 1000 years before being systematically dismantled in the 1990s.
4:39 am
the iron princess looted during the aftermath of a dark period in cambodian history. for ears, in cambodian history. for years. angkor— in cambodian history. for years, angkor wat - in cambodian history. fr?" years, angkor wat was a monument to the khmer people of cambodia but now abandoned, it's a signpost to khmer atrocities.— it's a signpost to khmer atrocities. ., ., , atrocities. the khmer roots government _ atrocities. the khmer roots government claimed - atrocities. the khmer roots government claimed the i atrocities. the khmer roots i government claimed the lives atrocities. the khmer roots - government claimed the lives of “p government claimed the lives of up to 2 million of its own people between 1975 and 1979 stop even after they lost power, their influence was felt in the country for another 20 years. in the country for another 20 ears. ~ . ., , ., , years. when it comes to these ob'ects, years. when it comes to these objects. you — years. when it comes to these objects. you can _ years. when it comes to these objects, you can argue - years. when it comes to these objects, you can argue they i years. when it comes to these | objects, you can argue they are war crimes. the world made
4:40 am
several attempts over the last couple of decades to stop this kind of practice.— kind of practice. this form looter, codenamed - kind of practice. this form looter, codenamed red i kind of practice. this form - looter, codenamed red horse, was a child soldier forced to fight under the khmer rouge. he is working with the cambodian team revealing sites are used to pillage. we are searching for the one of them, and abandon temple. you can see the stone wall, it's right in the middle of this vegetation. so this is it. wow. this temple is 800 years old. it's now been reclaimed by nature. these dead vines are covered in really sharp thorns. it's not easy to
4:41 am
walk through here. and there are hornets as well. so this was one of the top ten spots where the looters pillaged really up until the late 90s. they hid here, this was a khmer route hiding spot. red horse shows me where he says he unearthed a statue in the 19705. unearthed a statue in the 1970s. so what exactly did you find and how did you get it out? i show red horse photos of objects from the tradition museum plasma collection. this
4:42 am
thing, this is what you... took it from inside there? the investigative team has carefully traced the statue's likely journey. carefully traced the statue's likelyjourney. they are likely journey. they are confident likelyjourney. they are confident the one red horse identifies matches the artefact seen here on the british museum website. it's a cambodian priority to get it back. in response, the british museum told the bbc: i also showed the iron princess a selection of antiquities that are currently held in london.
4:43 am
0k, are currently held in london. ok, these are items in the victoria and albert museum. standing ganesha stop oh, this is beautiful. it is a shiva statue, bronze, completely intact. how much would you have sold this for? 17,000 thai baht. iron princess says she sold a statue that looks like this one in the v&a of the team is yet to make a direct match. now looters like the iron princess want to help fix what they've done.
4:44 am
the v&a told the bbc: question about —— questions about cambodia pause illicit antiquities trade have led investigators to do some strange places. 2010, the latchford classic. the entire contest is named after this man, douglas latchford. he was also a high—profile art dealer, believed to be at the very centre of the trade in stolen antiquities. latchford agreed to a rare interview in the 2014
4:45 am
documentary the stolen warriors. the filmmakers asked latchford about a civil complaint filed by the united states attorney's office in 2012. in states attorney's office in 2012. , , ,, 2012. in the files they speak of smuggling _ 2012. in the files they speak of smuggling networks - 2012. in the files they speak| of smuggling networks anew 2012. in the files they speak- of smuggling networks anew part of smuggling networks anew part of the smuggling network. what do you feel when you read it? their imagination has gone wild — their imagination has gone wild. they've seen too many indiana _ wild. they've seen too many indiana jones films. as far as indiana jones films. as far as i know. — indiana jones films. as far as i know, there is no such thing as a _ i know, there is no such thing as a smuggling network and i certainly— as a smuggling network and i certainly don't belong to any smuggling network. despite his denials, us prosecutors closed in. in 2019, latchford was indicted for trafficking. he died a year later, before going to trial. book co—authored by douglas latchford has become a valuable source of information for investigators. it contains many of the masterpieces that were taken out of cambodia, things
4:46 am
that most cambodians would never dream of seeing in person. and it has been used as proof that these items were at least known to latchford and his circle. investigators are still unravelling latchford's connections to objects that were auctioned off decades ago. we have a special report on the worldwide trade of illicitly exported art treasures. back in 1988, the bbc— exported art treasures. back in 1988, the bbc was _ exported art treasures. back in 1988, the bbc was asking - 1988, the bbc was asking questions about objects on the auction block. fist questions about ob'ects on the auction blockh auction block. at sotheby's because of— auction block. at sotheby's because of a _ auction block. at sotheby's because of a sale _ auction block. at sotheby's because of a sale of- auction block. at sotheby's because of a sale of the - auction block. at sotheby's i because of a sale of the highly prized art of south east asia, this four arms statue sold for £209,000. but where the statues originally stolen? the cameroonian - originally stolen? the cameroonian royal. originally stolen? the i cameroonian royalfamily originally stolen? the cameroonian royal family tried to cameroonian royalfamily tried to stop the sale, but failed. now, the cambodian authorities are writing to major museums in the british government for help. i showed them the newsnight story from 1988. what
4:47 am
was your gut reaction to it? amazing that the bbc had picked up amazing that the bbc had picked up on this in 88. we need to find this. this need to come home. it is very important. we have the archival photographs from 1936, when the french inventoried and it was taken to the conservatory. the conservatory - the conservatory. the conservatory is - the conservatory. the conservatory is a i the conservatory. the i conservatory is a secret warehouse just outside angkor wat where statues are still stored for safekeeping today. that is just incredible. we have got an elephant, a lime dog, things from angkor wat. no—one has been granted access to see the complex in decades. brad thinks the forearm vision was stolen from here and sold on. so where is the statue now? the latest information we have is that we have going through
4:48 am
the files of materials handed over to us by the family, and we found a photograph, and the photograph is an image that is identical to the statue that featured in the programme back in 1988, and so we look at the photograph and it actually had a label on it.— a label on it. latchford's -hoto a label on it. latchford's photo is _ a label on it. latchford's photo is labelled - a label on it. latchford's photo is labelled with i a label on it. latchford'sl photo is labelled with the a label on it. latchford's- photo is labelled with the name of one of his old customers. brad thinks this customer or the customer's family might still have the statue. indie the customer's family might still have the statue. we are not sure _ still have the statue. we are not sure yet _ still have the statue. we are not sure yet if _ still have the statue. we are not sure yet if they - still have the statue. we are not sure yet if they have i still have the statue. we are not sure yet if they have it i not sure yet if they have it or not, but hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will find out. ~ . couple of weeks we will find out. . . . . couple of weeks we will find out. . . .,. ., couple of weeks we will find out. . . . . . ., couple of weeks we will find out. . . .. ., ., out. what chance do you have of caettin a out. what chance do you have of getting a statue _ out. what chance do you have of getting a statue back? _ out. what chance do you have of getting a statue back? i - out. what chance do you have of getting a statue back? i think i getting a statue back? i think we have a _ getting a statue back? i think we have a very _ getting a statue back? i think we have a very good - getting a statue back? i think we have a very good chance. | getting a statue back? i think i we have a very good chance. and especially now that we understand a lot more of the history, i think we should get a good result.
4:49 am
the cambodian authorities believe douglas latchford's personal collection contains more than 100 pieces. so far, five major works and some smaller ones have been returned to cambodia. now, the cambodian government is eager to recover the rest. douglas latchford's daughter, julia, told us in a statement... there were more items on sale at sotheby's back in 1988. this
4:50 am
khmer sculpture _ at sotheby's back in 1988. this khmer sculpture of _ at sotheby's back in 1988. this khmer sculpture of a _ at sotheby's back in 1988. t�*u 3 khmer sculpture of a five had achievement broke all records and fixed a total of £319,000. brad and his team have tracked down the five had achievement. it was sold at sotheby's to a private collector. in 1993, it was donated to the met museum in new york where it is on display today. what would you like the met to do? we display today. what would you like the met to do?— like the met to do? we would love to come _ like the met to do? we would love to come back— like the met to do? we would love to come back next i like the met to do? we would| love to come back next week, you know. ithink love to come back next week, you know. i think it is an important piece for the cambodian centre needs to come home. a, cambodian centre needs to come home. �* , ,, ., home. a spokesperson for the met told us... _ retrieving the statues would look good politically for the cambodian government ahead of an election year in 2023. the prime minister has been in powerfor prime minister has been in power for three prime minister has been in
4:51 am
powerfor three decades. prime minister has been in power for three decades. most of his rivals are in prison or in exile. i sat down with the cambodian minister of culture and fine arts. this week, she wrote to the uk government to demand their assistance. minister, some people will say your country has problems with corruption. it has a worsening human rights record. why should the uk authorities co—operate with cambodia? i the uk authorities co-operate with cambodia?— with cambodia? i think that every country _ with cambodia? i think that every country has _ with cambodia? i think that every country has a - with cambodia? i think that| every country has a problem about corruption, even in europe, the us, asia. it is not... tell me one country but doesn't have any corruption. don't confuse the corruption with something else. it belongs to us. it belongs to cambodian people. to us. it belongs to cambodian --eole. ~ ., ., ., people. we are driving to a villaue people. we are driving to a village that _ people. we are driving to a village that lies _ people. we are driving to a village that lies in - people. we are driving to a village that lies in the i
4:52 am
village that lies in the shadows of the scene of industrial scale looting. appear is the way to go to the market. , ., ., ., , ,., market. this woman was born here and _ market. this woman was born here and comes _ market. this woman was born here and comes from - market. this woman was born here and comes from a - market. this woman was born here and comes from a familyj market. this woman was born i here and comes from a family of looters who struggle to survive under the khmer rouge. mi; looters who struggle to survive under the khmer rouge. my older generation. _ under the khmer rouge. my older generation. my — under the khmer rouge. my older generation, my grandfather, i under the khmer rouge. my older generation, my grandfather, my l generation, my grandfather, my father, they already did that, they don't have a choice. at they don't have a choice. at the time it was a civil war in cambodia. if you are starving, finding something for them so you could have money to feed your family, you could have money to feed yourfamily, and i think that is what my father thought, and thatis is what my father thought, and that is why he did that. she now works _ that is why he did that. she now works as _ that is why he did that. she now works as a _ that is why he did that. she now works as a key - that is why he did that. she now works as a key member in the cambodian investigative team. fighting for the return of the country's and is. i grew u n of the country's and is. i grew u- in of the country's and is. i grew up in this _ of the country's and is. i grew up in this village _ of the country's and is. i grew up in this village next - of the country's and is. i grew up in this village next to i of the country's and is. i grew up in this village next to the l up in this village next to the temple. some of the older generation, just to see the temple. so i want them to see that again. i want them to see
4:53 am
the beautiful temple with the statue. so i think it is my obligation as a younger generation to bring them back home. in cambodia's capital, phnom penh, this dance was created to welcome some beloved statues that were returned last year. these dancers are hoping they will have good reason to perform again. the statue for this country, for this environment, for this temple, for these people. i think it is important that the statues are coming back. to our country, our people, because people need prey. it is a living culture, a living god.
4:54 am
—— need to pray. hello there. we had some contrasting weather conditions on friday across the country. it was rather cool and breezy at times across scotland and north—east england as depicted by this weather watcher in moray. in fact, in one or two spots, temperatures struggled to climb into double figures. but it was a different story after a rather grey start across england and wales. the cloud broke up and we saw temperatures peaking in the london area by the middle of the afternoon of 21 celsius. now, clear skies will continue to dominate the weather story to start off our weekend. we will see a little more in the way of cloud, producing a few scattered showers into the far north—west of the great glen, but
4:55 am
elsewhere, it's a relatively mild start to the day, and, yes, there will be some early morning sunshine for many. out to the west, there will be a little bit of early morning patchy mist and low fog. that's because we've got high pressure building, winds falling light. but i just want to draw your attention to these showers down into the south—west arriving later on in the day. so, that early mist will lift away, a lot of sunshine pretty much throughout the day. we could just see a little more in the way of coastal cloud out towards the far north—west. top temperatures, though, warmer than friday in scotland, highs of 11—18 degrees. we could see 22 or 23 somewhere across south—east england — that's 73 fahrenheit. now, into the evening, though, those showers will arrive through the south—west across wales pushing their way into central and southern england. there will be some sharp, thundery downpours mixed in there as well as those showers move through during the early hours of sunday. they will take their time to clear away as well. some running down through
4:56 am
the channel coast, some moving up through wales, stretching up into northern england and scotland for the second half of the weekend. so a slightly different feel to the weather story. still warm where you keep the sunshine, highs again of 23 degrees. there will be further showers to come through sunday evening into the early hours of monday. if anything, more widespread sharp showers, possibly still thundery, moving their way up to scotland, and that is because as we go through into next week, we continue to see the risk of some low—pressure systems pushing in off the atlantic. always sitting out to the west, so the further east you are, it should stay largely fine and dry. but a little more unsettled, particularly the further north and west, warmer in the south with temperatures once again into the low 20s.
4:57 am
4:58 am
4:59 am
5:00 am
this is bbc world news — i'm nuala mcgovern. our top stories: international condemnation as israeli police beat mourners carrying the coffin of the aljazeera reporter shireen abu akla who was killed in the occupied west bank. well, we just had to move back very quickly because the mourners were trying to carry the coffin through the gates, out the hospital. the border police are directly outside and now, we're seeing confrontations here. the us defence secretary calls for an immediate ceasefire in ukraine in his first conversation with his russian counterpart since the invasion. explosion the bbc crew runs for cover
5:01 am
as russian forces bombard an area near the south—eastern

21 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on