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Request for artefacts is postponed

Request for artefacts is postponed

Cambodia's request to inspect an enormous stash of ancient artefacts seized earlier this month in Thailand has been indefinitely postponed, an official said yesterday.

“Thailand informed we would have to wait a while as they are solving some internal problems,” said Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Kuong said he isn’t sure exactly what those internal issues are, but confirmed Cambodia’s continued interest in the collection of sculptures, statues and bas-reliefs.

“We want to check them to know if any belong to Cambodia,” he said.

Thai police recovered the trove of more than 10,000 items as part of an investigation into a former Thai government crime buster and his alleged criminal network.

Some of the items recovered from the purported syndicate’s 11 stash houses could date back 1,400 years, and at least 10 of the artefacts so far confirmed to be genuine appear to be Khmer, according to Thailand’s Fine Arts Department.

The department promised earlier this month that authentic items would be returned to their countries of origin.

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