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Khmer Sculpture Copies


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A friend is coming to Chiang Mai, who wants to buy some high-quality replicas (copies) of ancient Khmer sandstone statues.

There are some sculptors in Thailand, often Cambodians, who are producing some fine imitations of the sculptures seen in ancient Khmer temples, like Angkor Wat. Sometimes it's really hard to tell the fakes from the originals. The new statues get buried in the ground for a time to make them look old.

Many of the original Khmer statues have been stolen -- torn out of temples -- and shipped to the West to be sold to art collectors at exorbitant prices. My friend doesn't want an original. He wants a fake that looks so authentic that only an expert would know it's a copy. He's interested in small sandstone statues of the human body, (usually with traditional clothes), about 15 to 20 inches (45 cm) high. He wants more than one. His motives are honest. (Some dishonest antique dealers try to sell the copies at high prices, saying they're "antiques." He's not doing that.)

I've heard there are some big sculpture factories in the Korat area, but that the quality of the work is not always great. We'd like to find a sculptor who is very skillful. There even may be someone who specializes in reproducing Khmer sculpture. (There's a big market for replacements for the statues that have been looted from temples.)

Has anyone seen this type of sculpture for sale anywhere? :blink:

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