Cambodian FM returns from Thailand with 16 stolen artifacts

GMT 11:45 2015 Sunday ,12 July

Arab Today, arab today Cambodian FM returns from Thailand with 16 stolen artifacts

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen
Phnom Penh - XINHUA

 Cambodian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Hor Namhong returned to Cambodia on Sunday after paying a three-day visit to Thailand, where he received 16 smuggled ancient treasures back from Thailand.

The artifacts were among 43 masterpieces that the Thai authorities confiscated from smugglers in 1999, and Thailand repatriated 7 of them to Cambodia in 2009 after the country had evidence to prove that they were looted from Cambodia.

"Thailand returned 16 artifacts to Cambodia (on Saturday) and they will truck them for us to Siem Reap province," Hor Namhong told reporters at Phnom Penh International Airport upon his arrival.

He did not elaborate on details of the returned artifacts and did not know an exact date when the items will reach Cambodia's Siem Reap province.

According to Hor Namhong, Thailand also agreed to let Cambodian experts to inspect the remaining 20 masterpieces whether they are also Cambodia's smuggled artifacts.

During his stay in Thailand, Hor Namhong met with his Thai counterpart Gen. Tanasak Patimapragorn and paid a courtesy call on Thai Prime Minister Gen. Prayut Chan-o-Cha.

A number of Cambodian antiquities had been looted from Cambodia during its civil war in the 1970s.

Besides the repatriation of those stolen artifacts from Thailand, since June 2013 to date, U.S. auction houses and museums had returned six looted ancient statues to Cambodia.

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