The Fine Arts Department has confirmed that many artefacts seized from disgraced former Central Investigation Bureau chief Pongpat Chayapan and his criminal associates are genuine, with some dating back as far as 1,400 years.
Fine Arts Department chief Bovornvet Rungrujee confirms initial examinatiions show many artefacts seized from Pol Lt Gen Pongpat Chayapan are genuine at a press conference on Tuesday. (Photo by Apichart Jinakul)
Most of the antiquities seized from Pol Lt Gen Pongpat and his network were made of sandstone.
These included antique Khmer-style Buddha statues, Khmere Phnom Da art dating from the 12th Buddhist Century (about 1,400 years ago), and figures of deities dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, (1,300-1,400 years ago), Bovornvet Rungrujee, director-general of the Fine Arts Department said at a press conference on Tuesday.
‘’The results of initial examinations show at least 10 Khmer artfefacts are genuine. In addition, there are more than 30 antique Buddha statues from the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin periods. Some of these statues are more than 300 years old,’’ said Mr Bovornvet.
Many of the artefacts seized from the secret houses owned by the former CIB chief were made in Thailand and imported from China, India and from European countries.
Those items also included replicas of sandstone figures of deities and wooden Buddha statues.
The department will display photographs and details all seized items at its website so people could check on them. If some items were found to be stolen, owners could present proof and ask that they be further examined at all 44 national museums across the county, or at the department head office, said Mr Bovornvet.
The seized items will be sorted and later registered. After that, the department will work with the military and ask that the ancient artefacts be kept at the department’s warehouse in Pathum Thani.
Sahaphum Phumthitirat director of the Office of National Museum was also present at the press conference.