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Iraq recovers thousands of smuggled artefacts

People visit one of the three newly opened galleries in southern Iraq's Basra museum, on 19 March 2019. - Over 2,000 artefacts, including about 100 that were looted and found abroad, were unveiled in Basra museum, located in a former palace of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. [HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP via Getty Images]
People visit one of the three newly opened galleries in southern Iraq's Basra museum, on 19 March 2019. - Over 2,000 artefacts, including about 100 that were looted and found abroad, were unveiled in Basra museum, located in a former palace of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. [HUSSEIN FALEH/AFP via Getty Images]

The Iraqi government announced on Sunday that it has recovered thousands of artefacts that had been smuggled out of the country.

A spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Al-Sahaf, said in a statement that the ministry has worked to recover thousands of smuggled artefacts, including the valuable Kudurru which dates back to the time of King Nebuchadnezzar I 3200 BC, explaining that it has returned from Britain to Iraq.

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He explained that 10 Babylonian cylinder seals as well as 1,376 artefacts have been recovered from Jordan after the relevant authorities there seized them on the border crossings while being smuggled out of Iraq.

Al-Sahaf pointed out that the Iraqi embassies in London and Washington have signed two agreements for the delivery of thousands of artefacts, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is coordinating with the Iraqi Ministry of Culture to recover the stolen antiquities.

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