BANGKOK — Forty-six ancient artifacts aged thousands of years have been returned to Thailand from collectors in the United States, the Culture Ministry announced Thursday.
The relics; which include clay pottery, utensils and bronze jewelry estimated to be 1,800 to 4,000 years old; were delivered to the Foreign Affairs Ministry last month from unidentified private collectors, the ministry said. It’s the second time since August that ancient Thai antiquities were returned from the states.
The majority of the returned objects this round, like the last time, were from the Bang Chiang era, created by a prehistoric civilization in Udon Thani province about 5,000 years ago, according to Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat.
Vira said the artifacts will be given to the Fine Arts Department for conservation and restoration at the National Museum’s central archive in Pathum Thani province.
In August, American collector Katherine Ayers-Mannix returned 12 artifacts to Thai authorities in response to an ongoing effort to repatriate Thai antiquities illegally exported to the United States, some of which are displayed in major museums there.
Vira said Thailand has received 751 artifacts from the states and Australia since 2014. He added that two ancient lintels from Buri Ram and Sa Kaeo provinces found at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco are being reviewed by an American court and might be returned in the near future.