The transfer took place at the Vietnamese Embassy in Washington last week in the presence of representatives from the US’s Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.
According to FBI, the US agency took possession of more than 7,000 artefacts illegally acquired by an American citizen during an operation from 2013 – 2014. 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 8-piece set of tool kit made of bronze, and a stone axe.
Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Quoc Dung, 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 demonstrates the US’s goodwill and commitment to enforcing the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC).
He further noted that the items will 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 stands ready to boost cooperation between the two countries’ ministries and agencies.