US to return 10,000 stolen artifacts to Iraq

Posted on 7/26/2013 6:52 PM in World

AFP reports that over 10,000 stolen artifacts will be returned to Iraq after the US government and the Iraqi government reached an agreement. The two sides agreed not to go into details about how the artifacts came to be in the United States.

"We have reached an initial agreement... on returning more than 10,000 Iraqi artifacts that are in the United States," by August 2014, senior ministry adviser Baha al-Mayahi told AFP.

But there are still details that need to be worked out, and the artifacts must all be registered in an electronic archive at Cornell University in the state of New York before they are returned, Mayahi said.

He said the United States was cooperating with Iraq on returning stolen artifacts, and that over 1,500 had been brought back to Iraq from the United States so far.

Some 15,000 artifacts were stolen from the national museum in Baghdad by looters in the chaos that followed the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, Mayahi said. More than 4,000 have been recovered.

Authorities have recovered a further 130,000 artifacts stolen from elsewhere in the country, but there are still tens of thousands of pieces missing.

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