Ancient Thai artifacts returned from New York Museum

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The artifacts, known as “Golden Boy,” a bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Shiva, and “Kneeling Woman,” arrived in Thailand on May 20 and were formally handed over at a ceremony in Bangkok the next day.

The Ministry of Culture has welcomed the return of two ancient artifacts from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, celebrating a key moment in Thai-US cultural relations. The artifacts, known as “Golden Boy,” a bronze sculpture of the Hindu god Shiva, and “Kneeling Woman,” arrived in Thailand on May 20 and were formally handed over at a ceremony in Bangkok the next day.

These 1,000-year-old sculptures had been part of the Met’s collection but were identified as having been illegally smuggled out of Thailand. Following a plan by the New York museum to ensure the legal origin of its antiquities, the two artifacts were removed from display, and plans for their return were set in motion last December.



The Met, collaborating with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Fine Arts, worked closely to facilitate the return of these artifacts. On May 14, the Cabinet instructed the Ministry of Culture to proceed with the acceptance of these statues, reaffirming their status as national treasures.

These artifacts are now on display at the National Museum in the Mahasurasinghanat Building’s Lopburi Room. They are exhibited alongside a related large bronze sculpture from Prasat Sa Kamphaeng Yai in Si Sa Ket province, offering a glimpse into Thailand’s artistic heritage from the 11th century. (NNT)


These artifacts are now on display at the National Museum in the Mahasurasinghanat Building’s Lopburi Room.



These 1,000-year-old sculptures had been part of the Met’s collection but were identified as having been illegally smuggled out of Thailand.



Following a plan by the New York museum to ensure the legal origin of its antiquities, the two artifacts were removed from display, and plans for their return were set in motion last December.