6 June 2024

Thailand has agreed to return 20 artefacts to Cambodia, which were among 43 antiquities smuggled into the country from Singapore in 2000.

Deputy Government Spokesperson Radklao Inthawong Suwankiri said that the cabinet approved the Fine Arts Department’s proposal to return the artefacts yesterday, in accordance with the bilateral agreement between Thailand and Cambodia.

She said that the 20 items were part of a consignment of 43 antiques being smuggled when they were seized by Thai authorities. The Fine Arts Department checked their origins and returned 23 of the pieces to Cambodia in 2008 and 2015.

The origins of the other 20 items could not be verified by the Fine Arts Department, because they can be found in both countries, Radklao said.

The department informed the Cambodian Government that, if it wants the items to be returned, it must provide evidence to prove that they originated in Cambodia.

Evidence was sent and was endorsed by the Fine Arts Department.