Thailand said that it might, and now it turns out it will. In an effort to repair the damage caused by the Preah Vihear dispute, Thailand has announced that it will return seven 18th-century sandstone busts that were smuggled into Thailand in 2000. Details of the handover have yet to be worked out and the artefacts are on display at the Thailand National Museum.
Thailand to return seized Cambodian artefacts
The Nation, 25 February 2009
The Cabinet yesterday agreed to return seven artefacts to Cambodia in a yet to be scheduled handover ceremony.
The sandstone artefacts to be returned are an 86-centimetre bust of a goddess and six of demons varying in height from 60cm to 81cm. The busts date back to the 18th century and some are cracked or damaged.
The Culture and Foreign Ministries of both countries are working on diplomatic protocol to have the artefacts returned to Cambodia as soon as possible, reportedly as a sign of goodwill aimed at strengthening bilateral relations that have soured after the Phrea Vihear dispute.
– KHMER SCULPTURE AND THE ANGKOR CIVILIZATION
– Khmer Buddha Sheltered by the Naga Snakes Wall plaque Museum Reproduction
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– Trends in Khmer Art (Studies on Southeast Asia)
– Guide to the national museum Bangkok Thailand 3rd edition.