Stolen Buddhist treasures handed back to Thai consulate in New York
Fifteen smuggled Thai artefacts from US museum collections are on the way back to Thailand after being received by the Royal Thai Consulate-General in New York.
The two lintels and 13 Buddha statues were handed over to the Consulate-General by US authorities in a ceremony on Thursday. They will be repatriated to Thailand next month.
The 13 Buddha statues are from the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods. Among them are bronze-work pieces that were smuggled out of Thailand and displayed at various museums in New York City. The lintels came from Prasat Khao Lon historical sanctuary in Sa Kaeo and the Prasat Nong Hong in Buri Ram. They are thought to have been stolen in the early 1960s.
The artefacts will be received at a handover ceremony in the Bangkok National Museum. The Fine Arts Department has invited Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the US ambassador to oversee the handover. The lintels will then be exhibited at the Bangkok National Museum for about 3 months before going into storage.