Jason Felch for the LA Times has reported on the goverment's now floundering case concerning Ban Chiang pottery that started some five years ago with so much fanfare.
The real problem with this investigation is that it targeted artifacts that were openly available for sale in Thailand. What was hyped as mainly a stolen property case became a far less "sexy" tax and smuggling case. The old bait and switch.
It's high time for the US government to stop being the muscle for US academics with an axe to grind against collectors and foreign cultural bureaucrats. If Thailand is so interested in repatriation of these ceramics, our courts are open to it.
Let Thai officials bring their own case instead of shifting that cost to the US Taxpayer.