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FBI hands over illegally-acquired cultural artefacts to Vietnam

VIETNAM NEWS/ANN – Several illegally-obtained cultural artefacts originating from Vietnam have been returned to the country by the United States (US) Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The transfer occurred at the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington last week in the presence of representatives from the US Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.

According to the FBI, the US agency took possession of more than 7,000 artefacts illegally acquired by an American citizen during an operation from 2013-14. It is the largest single discovery of cultural property in FBI history.

A year before his death, the man agreed to relinquish these items and wished to return them to their rightful owners.

With the help of experts, the FBI has managed to identify several unidentified artefacts from Vietnam, including a vase/pot, an eight-piece tool kit made of bronze, and a stone axe.

Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dũng, who received the handover, thanked the local authorities for coordinating with Vietnam to combat transnational crimes, particularly those in cultural and artistic affairs, adding it demonstrated US goodwill and commitment to enforcing the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime.

He also noted that the items would be transferred to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the National Historical Museum for assessment and exhibition.

The diplomat reiterated that the embassy was ready to boost cooperation between the ministries and agencies of the two countries.

Artefacts were handed over to the Vietnamese side by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation at the Vietnamese embassy in Washington. PHOTO: ANN
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