Tuesday, 2 September 2014

California Museum Sends Disputed Artefacts to Thailand

Ban Chiang pottery
The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana city of California United States has sent 557 artefacts believed to be from the Ban Chiang archaeological site in Udon Thani province back to Thailand. The shipment resulted from an agreement between the museum and the United States Attorney General after US authorities found out the artefacts had been smuggled out of Thailand.
Fine Arts director-general Anek Sihamat said the US had asked the department to send staff to examine the artefacts, but the department had turned down the request because the trip to the US would have been too costly. The US then shipped objects to Thailand instead. [...] experts would examine the artefacts. If they were from Ban Chiang, the department would keep, document and later exhibit them. If they did not come from Thailand, they would be returned, Mr Anek said.
These artefacts presumably derive from the seizure of objects from several Californian museums in January 2008 of which the Bowers Museum was one (see the summary account here)

Source: Bankok Post, 'Ban Chiang' artefacts arrive from US', 2 Sep 2014

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