The Vietnam National Museum of History announced on Wednesday that it will hold a ceremony for the reception of ten artifacts to be returned to Vietnam by the U.S. on Friday, according to the Vietnam News Agency.
The returned items will include a vase, one stone axe, three stone statues, and five bronze pieces, all of which were rediscovered during an operation from 2013 to 2014, in which the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)’s cultural and art crime investigation team discovered and seized an extensive collection of more than 7,000 cultural artifacts illegally held by Donald Miller, an American citizen.
The ceramic vase and three bronze axes belong to Dong Son culture (1,000 BC - 1st century AD), the stone ax dates back to the Late Neolithic period (6,400 - 3,500 BC), the three stone crocodile statues were made in the 1st - 2nd centuries AD, and the two bronze pipes in the 17th - 18th centuries.
Before his death, Miller expressed his wish to return the artifacts to their communities and countries of origin.
On February 27, 2019, the FBI published a press release on its website, declaring its desire to return stolen artworks to the communities they belong to and called on foreign governments to send experts to verify any uncovered artifacts.
With the help of experts, the FBI confirmed the 10 items were from Vietnam.
After an information exchange, the Vietnamese Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism announced that the Vietnam National Museum of History would receive the mentioned objects through diplomatic channels and keep and manage them in accordance with regulations.
On August 31, the Vietnamese Embassy in the U.S., which received the 10 artifacts from the FBI on August 5, handed over them to the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs for transfer to the museum.
The museum has created scientific records of the artifacts.
It is also making a plan to promote the value of the collection in the future.