WEDNESDAY, April 17, 2024
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Repatriation of Golden Boy, kneeling female statues due in May

Repatriation of Golden Boy, kneeling female statues due in May

The repatriation ceremony of two artefacts from the US to Thailand will be held in May this year, Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanit said today.

He explained that the Fine Arts Department has been appointed to cooperate with the Metropolitan Museum of Art on the repatriation of the “Golden Boy” statue of the Hindu deity Shiva and a kneeling female figure with the arms raised above the head.

The repatriation will be conducted via the Royal Thai Consulate-General in New York, while the museum will take responsibility for the repatriation expenses.

Repatriation of Golden Boy, kneeling female statues due in May

The repatriation ceremony will be held at museums in the US and Thailand. On Thailand's side, the ceremony will be held at Bangkok National Museum in May, after which the statues will be exhibited.

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art is working on repatriation details of two artefacts for Thailand's consideration,” Sermsak said, adding that Thailand is also working on the repatriation of artefacts from the ancient town of Si Thep in Phetchabun province in collaboration with US agencies.

Repatriation of Golden Boy, kneeling female statues due in May

Reuters reported last year that the Metropolitan Museum of Art has pledged to return more than a dozen pieces of ancient artwork to Cambodia and Thailand. This decision follows their connection to art dealer Douglas Latchford, accused of running an antiquities trafficking network in Southeast Asia. Latchford was indicted in 2019 for allegedly orchestrating a multiyear scheme to sell looted Cambodian antiquities on the international art market. He consistently denied involvement in the smuggling and died the following year.

Repatriation of Golden Boy, kneeling female statues due in May

As part of this recent repatriation effort, the museum will return 14 Khmer sculptures to Cambodia and two to Thailand. The ongoing effort to repatriate artefacts reflects a collective acknowledgement of the importance of restoring cultural heritage to its rightful origins.

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