As complementary efforts of ‘ the Diplomacy of Restitution and Repatriation’ , Iraq recovers five artefacts from the Office of the Attorney General In Manhattan
Dr Fareed Yasseen, Ambassador of Iraq to the United States of America has received five artefacts which had been stolen during the last thirty years. These efforts come to return the artefacts to Iraq.
Mr Alvin Bragg, the Attorney General of the Borough of Manhattan and the Acting Special Agent in charge of homeland Investigations of the Department of Homeland Security, Mr Eric Rosenblatt have attended the handover ceremony.
Ambassador Fareed Yasseen has also received two artefacts recovered from Michael Steinhardt, and another three artefacts in their custody that are being investigated. It is worth mentioning that the recovered artefacts are estimated altogether at hundreds of thousands of US dollars. The efforts exerted by the antiquities trafficking Unit of the Office of the Attorney General in Manhattan in the recovery process of the stolen antiquities are appreciated.
Ambassador Fareed Yasseen stated as saying ‘ I’m grateful to the Attorney General of Manhattan and the staff of his office for their continuous and successful efforts in the antiquities anti-trafficking, as they have been able through their exerted efforts to recover these invaluable archaeological artefacts of historic significance for Iraq, adding that these artefacts are part of the history and heritage of the Iraqi people, thus they belong to Iraq and they are going to be put on display before members of the Iraqi people in public museums out of their appreciation of their own history and culture, confirming that this initiative is another instance of the enhancement of the long-run cooperation and friendship between Iraq and the United States of America ’.
Among the recovered artefacts from the Steinhardt Collection, an Ivory plaque which dates back to (800-701 BC). The plaque depicts a winged sphinx with a human head; an ornament that used to decorate the royal furniture in the palace of the Assyrian King Sargon 1st (725-721 BC), in Nimrud. The iron plaque is worth about ($450,000). It was plundered during the nineties, in the aftermath of the Desert Storm, and then emerged for the first time in the art world market in November of 1994. It was later bought by Steinhardt on 10th September, 2010.
The second recovered piece from the Steinhardt Collection was a gold bowl adorned with a flower, valued at ($200,000 ), plundered from Nimrud, a historical city located in the north of Iraq which dates back to the Late Assyrian era (911-612 BC), before it would have been trafficked by ‘Daesh’. The Gold Bowl emerged for the first time in art world market on 22nd of October, 2019, and Steinhardt bought the artefact on 10th of July, 2020.
As for the other three artefacts, it is a collection of Mandaean manuscripts which are worth of ($8,500.00), and two cylindrical containers with separate lids which is worth ($15000.00) a piece.