Minister of Foreign Affairs Hands Over Antiquities to Culture Minister

Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein, on Tuesday, August 3, 2021, handed over antiquities to the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Hassan Nadhem. The antiquities which had been smuggled from Iraq were reclaimed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from several countries through coordination with the Iraqi embassies in those countries.

In a speech , the Foreign Minister expressed thanks to those who contributed to the reclaim of these antiquities, especially the countries to which these antiquities had entered, including: the United States of America, the Netherlands, and Italy, stressing that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would spare no effort to recover the rest of our cultural heritage throughout the world, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked to activate the recovery of smuggled antiquities, pointing out that the Iraqi Embassy in Washington received the smuggled antiquities.

The Foreign Minister indicated that Iraq received a very valuable clay tablet from Washington, which is the Gilgamesh Tablet. That the total that Iraq received in this year alone was (17338) pieces, of which (17321) pieces were from the United States of America, (9) pieces from Japan, (7) pieces from Holland, and one piece from Italy.

He said that the ministry has deliver five batches of documents and antiquities to the Ministry of Culture since 2016.

For his part, Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities said that vigorous efforts have been made to retrieve antiquities from Washington, and the process of reclaiming artifacts from Washington was biggest-ever repatriation in the history of Iraq, stressing that smugglers are surrounded by international laws that force them to hand over stolen and smuggled Iraqi artifacts.

The ceremony was attended by the ministry’s undersecretaries, heads of political departments, a number of representatives of diplomatic missions working in Baghdad, and media.