“Our curators are conducting a thorough conditions report on the bonsai right now. We are deeply grateful for their return,” museum executive director Kathy McCabe told CNN on Wednesday.
The museum staff hoped that the trees would be returned quickly, as they would not have survived for long without someone’s expert care.
Museum curator Aarin Packard said the trees are in “fairly good shape” after examining the pair, he said in a statement.
“The Silverberry suffered some damage,” Packard said in a statement. “It has some broken branches, probably due to improper transportation and handling, but both bonsai trees and their pots appear to be intact, which means they can return to being on public display.”
This Japanese Black Pine and Silverberry are worth thousands, the museum said.
From Pacific Bonsai Museum
The other plant is a Silverberry, which began training as a bonsai in 1946. It was created by a female bonsai artist named Kiyoko Hatanaka, a pioneer of her time.
Once the trees are further inspected, they will be returned to the exhibit by Wednesday at noon, the museum said.
“We are deeply grateful for the tremendous outpouring of support from the community and from the media who raised awareness of the bonsai’s disappearance,” McCabe said.
McCabe had said that if the trees were returned, no questions would be asked.
No one knows who brought the bonsai back or why they were stolen, the museum added. Police responded to the scene when the trees were returned.
The Japanese Black Pine is set to be the centerpiece of a special exhibition on May 8, called “World War Bonsai: Remembrance & Resilience.”