6 June 2024

The US Department of Homeland Security has been negotiating with the Denver Art Museum for the return of three historic artefacts to Thailand, Deputy Government Spokesperson Rachada Dhnadirek said today (Monday).

The three items are the Srivijaya-era Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and two bronze statues of the Dvaravati period, from the 7th to 11th centuries AD.

Last year, the Department of Homeland Security helped to secure the return, from the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, of two Khmer stone lintels, believed to have originated from Prasat Nong Hong in Buri Ram province and Prasat Khao Lon in Sa Kaeo province.

The two stone lintels are now being exhibited at Phanom Rung historical park in Buri Ram and at Sadok Kok Thom historical park in Sa Kaeo province.

Rachada said that the Thai Culture Ministry has been trying to secure the return of two more artefacts, a Buddha statue of the Dvaravati period, from the Asia Society and Museum in New York, and a stone sculpture, also from Dvaravati period, from the British Museum in London.

During the past five years, more than 600 historically significant artefacts have been returned to Thailand from various countries, including a gold crown of the Lanna period, which is part of an ancient Buddha statue.