Ancient artifacts that were smuggled out of Thailand decades ago and ended up on display at a museum in the United States will be shipped back to Thailand.
The 2 hand-carved lintels weighing more than 680 kilograms, were stolen from temples in Buri Ram and Sa Kaeo according to a complaint filed with the Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of California San Francisco Division.
US Department of Homeland Security started an investigation back in 2016 after the Consul General of the Royal Thai Consulate in Los Angeles visited San Francisco’s Asian Art Museum and saw the ancient Thai lintels on display.
The US government will ship the lintels back to Thailand, according to Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanee Sangrat. The ancient lintels have also been removed from the museum’s list.
The lintels are believed to have been stolen and the sold to European merchants in the late 1960s. One was given to the museum in 1966 and the museum bought the other lintel in 1968.
Source: The Thaiger