Iraqi National Museum recovers 701 items looted after Saddam’s overthrow

April 30th, 2008 - 10:37 am ICT by admin  

Nicosia, Apr 30 (ANI): Iraqi National Museum has recovered 701-looted artefacts looted after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
The items, consisting of golden necklaces, pots, daggers, clay statues and other artefacts, were seized over a period of five years by Syrian authorities from traffickers who had smuggled them across the border.
The returned items were carefully packed in 17 boxes and were returned to Baghdad on Saturday.
The Iraqi National Museum welcomed them home in the course of a ceremony on Sunday. The Museum situated in central Baghdad remains closed to the public.
Mohammad Abbas al-Oreibi, Acting Minister of Tourism and Archaeology, described the returned treasures as very important and valuable.
He said that Syria’s initiative to return the stolen artefacts was positive and expressed the wish that the same initiative would be taken by all neighbouring countries.
Oreibi said that he intended to pay shortly a visit Amman aiming to persuade Jordanian authorities to return to Iraq some 150 items seized from smugglers.
Following Saddam’s ouster, looters seized between 3,000 to 7,000 pieces, mainly from the Babylonian, the Sumerian and the Assyrian collections of Iraq’s National Museum.
Of these, about 50 items are regarded by UNESCO as of great historic importance. (ANI)

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