Arts & Entertainment

Thailand retrieves religious sandstone carvings stolen over 50 years ago

Bangkok, May 31 (EFE) – Thailand celebrated the arrival of two ancient sandstone carvings from the 10th century with a religious ceremony on Monday.

The carvings were allegedly stolen during the Vietnam War and have been repatriated to Thailand from a museum in the United States.

The carvings, which were originally support beams in temples in the eastern provinces of Buriram and Sa Kaeo, weigh some 680 kilograms and are engraved with depictions of the Hindu deities Indra and Yama, part of the ancient Khmer kingdom’s legacy in the region.

The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, which acquired them in the 1960s from a private collector, decided in September last year to send them back to Thailand after suspecting they were stolen objects.

Thai authorities said the stone carvings will be displayed at the National Museum in Bangkok.

During the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge regime, looters and collectors took advantage of the instability in the region to plunder the rich heritage of parts of Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. EFE


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