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
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
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)
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
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
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.
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 http://www.regulations.gov, 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.
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
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)
A story on how the recent spate of artefact repatriations to Cambodia has sparked a renewed interest in the country’s past.
Repatriated head at the National Museum of Phnom Penh. 20160413
Returned Artifacts Stir New Interest in Cambodian Antiquity
VOA Cambodia, 13 April 2016
On a recent Friday afternoon Choup Leakhena, 18, was wondering around Phnom Penh’s National Museum, taking selfies with some of the institution’s impressive—and growing—collection of ancient Khmer sculpture.
A freshman at Pannasastra University who hails from Takmao city in Kandal province, Leakhena told VOA Khmer that the beauty of the works gave her a sense of national pride.
“I love and appreciate these masterpieces, such as the apsara”—a celestial nymph from Hindu mythology—“the statues of [12th century Khmer monarch] Jayavarman VII, Vishnu and Buddha,” she said. “I am able to see into life in the past.”
Artifacts looted from Cambodia’s ancient temples during decades of conflict have started to flow back into the country, giving young Cambodians like Leakhena an opportunity to embrace the country’s cultural heritage and history.
“I came here because I want to learn about it,” she said. “Finally, I can see [the sculptures] and I can admire our Khmer ancestors, who created such precious pieces for us. It’s really unique. Other countries don’t have such amazing artworks.”
In a remarkably successful campaign in recent years, the Cambodian government has identified looted artifacts abroad and initiated legal efforts to reclaim them. And the tide appears to have turned, with many of the treasures spirited away and sold on the black market now finding their way back to the nation that made them.
Full story here.
In addition to the statue of Rama, two more sculptures – heads of Brahma – from Koh Ker were returned to Cambodia last month.
Returned Brahma head from Koh Ker. Source: Phnom Penh Post 20160331
More looted antiquities welcomed home
Phnom Penh Post, 31 March 2016
For the second time in less than a week, the National Museum held a ceremony yesterday marking the homecoming of priceless Angkorian artifacts looted during the civil war.
Two 10th-century Brahma heads, looted from a temple at the Koh Ker archaeological site in Preah Vihear, were added to the museum’s collection of antiquities, alongside a 10th-century Rama statue returned by an American museum on Monday.
The heads, which had formerly belonged to an unnamed private collector in Paris, were discovered by Minister of Foreign Affairs Hor Namhong in 1994 while he was the Cambodian ambassador to France, according to the release.
Full story here.