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Iraq plans to recover thousands of artefacts from the United States

May 29, 2019 at 4:30 am

Two Iraqi army soldiers walk across the ancient ruins of Nimrud following the recapture of the ancient town on the outskirts of Mosul from jihadists of the Islamic State group on 15 November, 2016 [AFP/SAFIN HAMED/Getty]

The Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities announced on Tuesday its intention to recover thousands of antiquities from the United States, Anadolu news agency reported.

The ministry quoted in a statement the Minister of Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities, Abdul Amir Al-Hamdani as saying that he intends to visit Washington “to recover 5,500 artefacts from the Hobby Lobby company and 10,000 clay figurines from Cornell University as well as artefacts from the University of Pennsylvania”.

Al-Hamdani pointed out that a memorandum of understanding has been signed with the Kuwaiti Minister of Information for the recovery of Iraqi cultural properties, adding that negotiations continue on several projects, including the holding of an Iraqi Cultural Week in October.

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“A memorandum of understanding has also been signed with Turkey to recover antiquities found in the Hatay Museum, as well as with Lebanon and the Nabu Museum,” he said.

Al-Hamdani revealed that Iran will send a team of engineers to Iraq to maintain Taq-i Kisra (Iwan of Khosrow).

Iraq’s antiquities were looted in various stages, especially after 2003 following the US invasion of Iraq.

Many of the country’s historical sites were destroyed by Daesh group between 2014 and 2017.