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US Returns Stolen Ancient Lintels To Thailand

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US Returns Stolen Ancient Lintels To Thailand

The US government announced it had returned two stolen ancient sandstone lintels dating from the ninth and tenth centuries to Thailand after retrieving them from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

The objects had been on display at the museum since it opened in 1996.

The transfer of the hand-carved objects, created during the Khmer era and apparently stolen in the late 1960s and then donated to the city of San Francisco, followed a three-year investigation that involved US Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) officials in Bangkok and San Francisco as well as a prosecution drive by the US attorney for the Northern District of California. An agreement for their return was reached last year.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that both lintels came from temples that Thailand had registered in the mid-1930s as national ancient monuments, and the Bangkok Post identified the sites as the Prasat Khao Lon historical sanctuary in Sa Kaeo and the Prasat Nong Hong in Buri Ram. The Post said that each lintel weighed around 680kg, and that the objects were expected to arrive in Thailand by air today and go on display soon at the Bangkok National Museum near the Grand Palace.

The turnover to Thai consular officials was overseen by the city of San Francisco, which has operated the Asian Art Museum since it opened, but the repatriation ceremony took place in Los Angeles.

“I wish the story of the Thai lintels will help raise awareness to prevent removal of historic, religious and cultural treasures from their original sites, in local communities,” said Manasvi Srisodapol, Thailand’s ambassador to the United States, in a statement.

Global law enforcement officials have aggressively expanded the fight against the theft of antiquities integral to cultural heritage and illicit trafficking, with dozens of governments working in tandem with one another.

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‘Thailand Pass’ Scheme Dropped From Today

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Thailand Pass Scheme Dropped From Today

The Thailand Pass registration scheme and the US$10,000 health insurance requirement for foreign visitors have officially been dropped, effective 1st July 2022.

From today, foreign nationals are only required to show proof of vaccination or a negative RT-PCR or professional ATK test result within 72 hours of travel.

These can either be in print or digital format.

Random checks will be made on arrivals at international airports and land border checkpoints bringing an end to congestion and lengthy queues.

With the removal of all the hurdles and entry to Thailand returning to pre-covid normal, it is hoped arrivals will increase over the coming months bringing back those much needed tourist dollars.

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Two Dry Days In July Coming Up

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Two Dry Days In July Coming Up

The entertainment industry is set to take two days off this month in respect of Asalha Bucha Day and Khao Phansa Day.

It will be lights out across the land on Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th with exact timings determined by local police districts who will issue notices either in a timely manner as some do or 20 minutes before closing.

Of course, it’s not just the nightlife industry affected by the Buddhist holiday, there will be no alcohol on sale at your local 7-Eleven either for 48 hours, so plan ahead.

Friday 15th is also a public holiday but booze will be back for the weekend.

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