Ancient artefacts returned from the US

Ancient artefacts returned from the US

Some of the 46 ancient artefacts are displayed in Bangkok after being received Thursday from the US. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)
Some of the 46 ancient artefacts are displayed in Bangkok after being received Thursday from the US. (Photo by Pawat Laopaisarntaksin)

Forty six ancient artefacts from various periods were returned to Thailand Thursday from the US.

Ruyaporn Sukontasap, deputy director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Department of Information, handed the items over to Arunsak Kingmanee, deputy director-general of the Culture Ministry's Fine Arts Department.

Culture Minister Vira Roj­pojchanarat witnessed the handover ceremony at the Culture Ministry.

Of the 46 artefacts, 19 items were given back by US citizens, while 27 were returned by Thai citizens living in the US.

The items -- which include earthenware, terracotta utensils and bronze bracelets -- date back from between 1,800 years to 4,300 years ago, or as early as the Ban Chiang prehistoric period.

The Fine Arts Department will register them as national heritage assets. The items, which are damaged, will be restored in accordance with standard restoration practices.

After the restoration, the department will keep the items at the National Museum in Pathum Thani's Klong Luang district.

In October last year, 12 ancient artefacts were also returned to Thailand from the US.

Mr Vira said the returned items bring the total number of artefacts returned from foreign countries -- including the US and Australia -- to 751.

In 2014, the government set up a committee which is responsible for recovering artefacts that went missing from Thailand and are believed to be located in foreign countries.

The minister added that the committee will step up its efforts to recover another 200 ancient items, which are currently in the possession of foreign owners.

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