Thailand Is Ramping Up Efforts to Recover Cultural Heritage From US Museums, Including the Met

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Source: artnet news, 20181106

via artnet news, 06 November 2018: An expanded article based on a news reports in Thailand last week.

Source: artnet news, 20181106

Source: artnet news, 20181106

Thailand has stepped up its efforts to reclaim bronze and stone sculptures that have been in US museum collections for decades. The Kingdom of Thailand’s culture minister announced last week that the country is seeking the return of 23 antiquities, some of which have been housed in the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art since the late 1960s.

Unnamed Institutions in the UK and Australia are also in the Thai government’s sights as it intensifies its efforts to recover sculptures and other artifacts it claims were illegally removed from temples and archaeological sites. Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat is leading a task force to recover more than 700 artifacts in collections abroad that Thailand claims were stolen, the Bangkok Post reports.

Source: Thailand Is Ramping Up Efforts to Recover Cultural Heritage From US Museums, Including the Met | artnet News

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Sombre KLIA ceremony marks repatriation of 27 Kiwi soldiers’ remains

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Malaysia Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu at repatriation ceremony. Source: Yahoo News, 20 August 2018

via Yahoo News, 20 August 2018: Remains of 27 New Zealand soldiers who died in wartime operations in Malaysia are repatriated after a year-long operation to identify and recover their remains.

A disinterment team of 588 bio-archaeologists, forensic anthropologists and other experts started work on March 21 last year, led by Major-General Datuk Dr Haji Mohd Ilham Haji Haron who is a forensic odontology expert at the Defence Ministry’s hospital.
Experts from New Zealand; the Army Museum Port Dickson; the Health Ministry; the Malaysian Nuclear Agency, the Centre for Global Archaeological Research, Universiti Sains Malaysia; the Institute of the Malay World and Civilisation; and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s experts in medicine, odontology and forensic biology also assisted in the victim identification and verification process.

Source: Sombre KLIA ceremony marks repatriation of 27 Kiwi soldiers’ remains

Ancient Thai Artifacts Returned by American Collector

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via Khaosod English, 02 August 2018: The ceramics returned were from Ban Chiang. Thailand previously repatriated Ban Chiang ceramics from the Bowers Museum in 2014, and is still looking at 14 more artifacts housed in the Honolulu Museum of art.

Prehistoric artifacts dating back thousands of years to some of the earliest people in Southeast Asia have been returned to Thailand by an American collector, officials announced Thursday.

Source: Ancient Thai Artifacts Returned by American Collector
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German police hand over antiquities to Vietnam

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via Vietnam Plus, 30 March 2018:

The Vietnamese Embassy in Germany on March 29 received antiques which Berlin police seized from an unidentified Vietnamese entrepreneur in late 2016.

Berlin police said the objects consist of 10 stone tools and eight bronze tools. Archaeologists from many in Berlin examined these objects and found they date back to between the second and the seventh centuries BC and could belong to tombs in the third century BC

Source: German police hand over antiquities to Vietnam (Vietnam Plus)

Categories: Lithics Vietnam


Culture Ministry calls for return of ancient Thai artefacts from US museums – The Nation

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via The Nation, 09 Feb 2018: The Culture Ministry is calling for the return of 11th-century stone lintel that originated at Prasat Khao Lon in Sra Kaew, but it’s now in permanent collections at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco.

The Culture Ministry is expediting the process seeking the return of more than 100 ancient Thai artefacts from overseas.

Source: Culture Ministry calls for return of ancient Thai artefacts from US museums – The Nation

Culture Ministry calls for return of ancient Thai artifacts

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via Pattaya Mail, 22 Nov 2017:

Bangkok – The Ministry of Culture is speeding up the process for the return of ancient Thai artifacts from overseas. The ministry’s ad hoc committee has called for the repatriation of artifacts that originated from Thailand and recently acknowledged the verification of 14 ancient items currently in the possession of the Honolulu Museum of Art […]

Source: Culture Ministry calls for return of ancient Thai artifacts – Pattaya Mail

Categories: Thailand


Proposed extension of the U.S.-Cambodia cultural property agreement

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From Dr. Catherine P. Foster of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State. Please lend your voice in support of this agreement; we’ve had a number of high-profile repatriations from the US to Cambodia over the past few years, and they are facilitated by agreements such as these.


Dear colleagues,

It is with pleasure I bring to your attention that the United States and Cambodia have proposed another 5-year extension of the cultural property agreement first entered into in 2003 under the U.S. Convention on Cultural Property Implementation Act, which implements the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Official announcement of the proposal can be found here.

The President’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee (CPAC) will meet October 23-24 to review this proposed extension and to formulate its recommendations. I encourage you to submit comments to the CPAC regarding the proposed agreement extension, focusing on the four factors or “determinations” that the CPAC must consider:

All comments must be submitted in writing by October 15. Use, enter docket DOS-2017-0036, and follow the prompts to submit written comments.

CPAC will also hold an open session of its meeting on October 23 at 10:00 am EDT. I also encourage you to participate in this open session, which will be available using the Zoom platform from your work or home office. More details will be posted on the Cultural Heritage Center website in mid-October. More information is available in the CPAC meeting announcement.

Joy in Sa Kaew as US museum agrees to return stone carving to temple

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via The Nation, 25 June 2017: A lintel from a Khmer temple will be returned from the US to Thailand where the temple stands.

About 100 local villagers attending a ritual to worship supernatural beings at Praasaat Khao Luon in Sa Kaew’s Ta Phraya district on Sunday were overjoyed to hear that the Khmer temple’s lintel would be returned from the United States.

Source: Joy in Sa Kaew as US museum agrees to return stone carving to temple

Khmer jewelry returns to Cambodia, twice, last month

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In two separate events Angkorian jewelry was returned to Cambodia late last month. The first set was from a planned sale at a UK-based auction house which was listed lost November; the second was volunteered by a Hungarian art collector who said he had bought the pieces but “didn’t provide details on how they were acquired”.

Source: Collection of ‘Priceless’ Artifacts Given to National Museum – The Cambodia Daily (25 April 2017)


Ancient Angkorian Jewelry Set Recovered From UK Art Dealership – VOA Khmer (26 April 2017)

Ancient jewellery to return: ministry – Phnom Penh Post (24 April 2017)

Categories: Cambodia