Phuket museum beads not stolen after all

The Thaland National Museum in Phuket, Thailand responds to allegations that beads excavated in 2005 are missing – they were taken off the display stands for research.

Archaeologist confirms 2,000-year-old relics safe in Phuket
Phuket Gazette, 28 July 2011

An inquiry into the whereabouts of ancient beads, ceramic vases and glass shards excavated by a Phuket archaeological team in 2005 has revealed that the artifacts are safe on the island.

The relics are all estimated to be more than 2,000 years old.

A letter of complaint was filed with the Crime Suppression Division by Sutha Pratheep Na Thalang on March 14.

The letter, submitted on the behalf of the “people of Phuket”, claimed that the beads were not put on display at Thalang National Museum, as required by Thai law.

Reports made by Thai TV Channel 3 called the archaeologists who found the beads into question, but Capt Boonyarit Chaisuwan of the 15th Regional Office of Fine Arts – and a member of the excavation team who found the beads – announced yesterday that the beads were still on Phuket.


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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

3 thoughts on “Phuket museum beads not stolen after all”

  1. I am glad to hear that the beads are safe. It is very important that archeological treasures in Thailand are kept in museums where the public has viewing access, especially for artifacts that are thousands of years old. Fortunately, as the article in the Phuket Gazette mentions, Thai law protects these artifacts and requires them to be placed in national museums. Anyone who discovers or has information on the whereabouts of important artifacts in Thailand should immediately notify an archeologist or the authorities. Information about Thai law as it pertains to these sorts of artifacts can be obtained by contacting a Thailand Lawyer who specializes in the field. I applaud the Phuket Gazette for bringing attention to this important archaeological issue.

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