Religious artifacts returned to Thailand after decades

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two stolen hand-carved artifacts, sandstone lintels dating back to the 9th and 10th centuries, were returned to the Thai government on Tuesday in a ceremony more than 50 years overdue. Authorities said the 1,500-pound antiquities had been stolen and exported from Thailand — a violation of Thai law — a half-century ago and were donated to the city of San Francisco. They had been exhibited at the city-owned San Francisco Asian Art Museum. San Francisco agreed to hand over the ancient sandstone slabs following a three-year investigation by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and a civil lawsuit. The slabs had been structural parts of religious sanctuaries in northeastern Thailand.

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