Smuggled artefacts from Cambodia might be repatriated

New bilateral relations between Cambodia and Thailand’s new government are off to a promising start after the first meeting between the two foreign ministers saw an agreement to repatriate some artefacts that were confiscated by Thailand 10 years ago. The artefacts were believed to be enroute to Singapore through Thailand, a major smuggling route for antiquities out of this region.

Thais may return antiquities
Phnom Penh Post, 27 January 2009

Cambodian artefacts confiscated by Thai authorities are set to return to the Kingdom pending the approval of the Bangkok Cabinet, following an agreement Monday between Cambodian Foreign Minister Hor Namhong and his Thai counterpart Kasit Piromya in Phnom Penh.

“Regarding the Khmer artefacts confiscated in Thailand, Kasit will ask the Thai Minister of Culture to request an approval from the Thai Cabinet to allow them to be sent back to Cambodia,” Hor Namhong told reporters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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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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