Ancient gold Buddha artifact comes home
Culture Minister Itthiphol Kunplome hailed the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security after a 500 years’ old antique gold crown was returned to Thailand from the US.
The 48 year old minister revealed the department was set up by the government around five years ago to track artefacts, which have been smuggled out of the kingdom, and thanked the US Department of Homeland Security, after they also recovered two Khmer lintels from the Asian Art Museum in the US last year.
The crown, which weighs about 42.6g, is made of 95% pure gold in the Lanna art form and was used to decorate a stone-sculpted Buddha statue, a popular practice during the period as a religious offering.
The antique crown is being kept at the National Museum in Bangkok by the Fine Arts Department for study prior to being exhibited in the future.
Itthiphol says more precious artifacts may be returning home after the US Homeland Security Department discovered some bronze sculptures, originating from the Prakon Chai archaeological site in Thailand’s north-eastern province of Buri Ram. They are currently on display at the Denver Art Museum.
The two Khmer lintels returned from the US are to be put on display at the information centres of Prasat Sadok Kok Thom historical park in Sa Kaeo province, and at the Phnom Rung historical park in Buri Ram province.
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