Ancient Thai relics return home from San Francisco

Two ancient Thai relics have finally returned home.

The Khmer-style stone carvings were stolen decades ago and smuggled to the United States, where they had been on display at the Asian Arts Museum in San Francisco.

The museum was required to forfeit them after a settlement was reached in February this year between the U.S. government and San Francisco authorities.

Member of the lintel repatriation committee, Tanongsak Hanwong believes the case will set a precedent.

"This is a legal battle that has set an excellent example for the museums that still own Thai artefacts illegally because they know they will lose the case. Many museums have chosen to reach out to begin the return process instead of going into the legal process. It will make it a lot easier in the future for the Thai to retrieve our artefacts"

The sandstone lintels, which date back to the 10th and 11th century, were once parts of religious sanctuaries in Thailand's northeast.

The Thai government will assess whether they can be returned to their original locations.

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