KON TUM — Investigators have initiated legal procedures against three people who allegedly stole a swag of ancient gongs and costumes from Kon Tum Province’s Culture and Information Office in the Central Highlands.
Authorities have accused the rubbish collectors living in Kon Ra Chot and Kon Tum Knam villages – Y Pom, Pe Pep and Y Dung – of breaking into the museum to snatch the national property on December 10, 2001.
The security guard on duty at the time, Nguyen Quang Thai, also faces a charges of carelessness that resulted in the museum break-in.
The stolen ethnic minority artefacts include 197 gongs, 10 traditional costumes and a bronze cauldron, all of which are over 100 years old.
The Kon Tum Museum boasts 11,668 antiques and 1,331 photos and documents as well as tens of thousands of pottery samples collected from the Lung Leng archaeological site last year.
Theft is a persistent problem for the country’s temples and museums, with artworks and artefacts frequently stolen for sale to unscrupulous antique dealers. — VNS
Reprinted with permission from VietNam News Agency