Iraq exhibits smuggled artifacts returned from UK, Sweden
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi ministers on Monday put on display artifacts recovered from the UK and Sweden, which had been stolen and illegally smuggled to Europe in the past decades.
The artifacts were displayed at the Foreign Ministry in Baghdad. They were archaeological and historical items, such as pottery fragments and shards with writing dating back at least 4,000 years to the ancient Sumerian civilization, according to AP.
In a special ceremony, the Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mohammed al-Hakim, handed the artifacts to the Minister of Culture, Abdulamir al-Hamdani, to be kept and showcased in local museums.
Iraq is determined to recover its heritage lost over the years, Hakim told reporters attending the event.
Following the Iraq war in 2003, many artifacts, and archaeological and historical items were looted out of the country, most of which were smuggled to Europe.
Other pieces of Iraq’s colored and diverse heritage, however, fell victim to the successive conflicts in the country.
Iraq has recently been putting efforts forward to protect, recover artifacts and return them home by working closely with UN agencies.
Earlier this month, the British Museum announced they would return looted artifacts to their countries of origin — Iraq and Afghanistan — after they were illegally exported to the UK.
Editing by Nadia Riva