Foreign minister returned stolen Buddha

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Foreign Minister Børge Brende traveled to Myanmar (Burma) this week, where he delivered a 200-year-old Buddha sculpture believed to have been stolen from the country several years ago.

“Norway wants to contribute towards the return of stolen cultural objects to their countries of origin, in line with international agreements,” Brende said during a formal ceremony in Myanmar’s transplanted capital of Nay Pui Daw.

“I’m glad that this beautiful sculpture is now finally back,” Brende said. “At the same time I’m worried that illegal trade of cultural objects is increasing, steadily taking on new forms and often occurring through international criminal networks.”

The Buddha now returned, which weighs 93 kilos, was found and halted by customs inspectors in 2011 after a Norwegian citizen had bought it in Thailand and tried to import it. Norwegian authorities worked to find out where it came from, and experts determined that it most likely was from the Mandalay region of Myanmar.

newsinenglish.no staff