Thailand held a welcoming ceremony on Monday to mark the return of two historical hand-carved artefacts that had been stolen many years in the past and smuggled in a foreign country to the United States.
The two 680 kg (1,500 lb) Khmer-style stone carvings had been on show on the Asian Arts Museum in San Francisco, which was required to forfeit them when a settlement was reached in February between the US authorities and San Francisco authorities.
Thailand had knowledgeable the United States in 2017 that the lintels, which date again to the tenth and eleventh century, had been stolen.
“Today is the day that they’re lastly returned to their house nation and displayed right here,” Thai tradition minister Itthiphol Kunplome mentioned on the Bangkok ceremony.
The sandstone lintels had been as soon as components of the construction of two spiritual sanctuaries in Thailand’s northeast. The authorities will assess whether or not they are often returned to their authentic areas.
“This is a authorized battle that has set a superb instance for the museums that also personal Thai artefacts illegally as a result of they know they may lose the case,” mentioned Tanongsak Hanwong, who situated the artefacts and pushed for his or her return.
“Many museums have chosen to succeed in out to start the return course of as a substitute of going into the authorized course of”.
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