Iraq to recover two 4,000-year-old artifacts from US


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SULAIMANI — The Iraqi Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday (January 18) it will receive two stolen artifacts that are more than 4,000 years old from US authorities this week.

Ministry Spokesman Ahmed al-Sahaf said the Iraqi government will receive the artifacts, two ancient cuneiform tablets, through the Consulate-General of Iraq in Los Angeles and in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

One of the clay tablets is an extremely rare artifact from Babylon. It was used as a teaching aid and there are only two copies in the world, according to Iraqi News Agency. The other tablet is from the ancient Sumerian city of Ur.

Sahaf said the return of the artifacts was part of efforts to pursue the illegal trade in Iraqi antiquities. He explained the handover will take place at the Iraqi consulate in Los Angeles.

More than 17,000 artifacts were returned to Iraq from abroad, mostly from the US, last year. Many had been seized from Hobby Lobby, an American chain of arts and crafts stores, after the US government required the company to hand over the artifacts.

(NRT Digital Media)