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Looted Yemen antiquities to go on auction in Israel

August 22, 2023 at 12:00 pm

A rare ancient bronze frame from Yemen antiquities to go on auction in Israel, Tel Aviv [Abdullah Mohsen/Facebok]

A number of rare ancient artefacts stolen from Yemen are to be auctioned in Israel, according to a report by Al-Quds Al-Arabi last week. Citing a Yemeni researcher who specialises in tracing looted antiquities online, Abdullah Mohsen, the report said that the public auction will take place in Tel Aviv in October.

In a Facebook post, Mohsen said that among the exhibits was a bronze frame featuring the embossed faces of two young men and it is “probably from Tamnu, Al-Awd, or Dhafar (referring to areas of ancient Yemeni civilisation).”

Although the details of the exhibits and their source have not been announced yet, the researcher said: “The prominent word (three letters in old Yemeni Musnad script) can be read at the bottom of the Yemeni artefact offered for sale.”

In November last year, the Sanaa-based Al-Hudhud Centre for Archaeological Studies said in a report that 4,265 smuggled Yemeni artefacts had been sold in several countries from 1991 to 2022, of which 2,610 were looted after the start of the Saudi-led military intervention in 2015. Among the countries the items were being sold at were the US, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Israel.

In August 2021, a leaked document exposed a senior official from the administration of Yemen’s former President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, as a member of a criminal network engaged in looting artefacts from the country’s ancient heritage sites amidst the ongoing conflict. These artefacts were subsequently sold to antiquities traffickers, as reported by Press TV.

READ: US to return 77 looted antiquities to Yemen