Seized Thai artefacts to return to Cambodia

Pongpat Trove. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150119

16 artefacts seized from smugglers in Thailand are to be returned to Cambodia, Thailand has announced. These artefacts are not related to the seized hoard linked to a high-ranking police official last year.

Pongpat Trove. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150119
Pongpat Trove. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20150119

Thailand to return recovered artefacts
Phnom Penh Post, 19 January 2015

Thais to return looted Cambodian antiquities
Turkish Press, 19 January 2015

Thailand announced on Friday that it will repatriate 16 Cambodian artefacts recovered from smugglers in 1999, according to Cambodia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry.

Twenty other objects from the same group of seized goods could also be repatriated if further investigations conclusively find they are Cambodian, Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong said at the Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation in Siem Reap.

In 2009, Thailand repatriated seven scultpures from the same 1999 seizure.

Thailand did not specify when the 16 latest objects might be returned, however, and provided no details as to the types of artefacts or from where in Cambodia they were initially stolen.

“We don’t know how old they are or what the objects are, as we have not seen them yet,” said Kong Vireak, director of the National Museum.

Full story here.

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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.

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