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Lebanon returns 337 artifacts of different eras to Iraq

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BEIRUT (AP)

On Sunday, the Lebanese Ministry of Culture handed over to Iraq 337 ancient artifacts that have been on display in a Lebanese museum for many years.

The items, including clay tablets, were returned by Culture Minister Mohammed Murtada to Iraq’s ambassador to Lebanon in a ceremony held at the National Museum of Beirut.

Murtada told Iraq’s state news agency in a report on Saturday that a Lebanese commission had been investigating the items since 2018.

The most recent artifacts have been stored at the private Nabu Museum in northern Lebanon. The report gave no further details on the origin of the artifact.

“We are celebrating the handover of 337 artifacts from different eras of civilizations in Mesopotamia,” Iraqi Ambassador to Lebanon Haider Shyaa Al-Barrak said at the ceremony. This will not be the last handover, he added, without explaining the details.

Many Iraqi artifacts have been looted during the country’s decades of war and unrest, mostly since the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

The Iraqi government has been slowly restoring looted artifacts since then. However, archaeological sites around the country continue to be neglected due to lack of funding.

According to Iraqi authorities, at least half a dozen shipments of antiquities and documents have been returned to Iraqi museums since 2016.

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https://www.winknews.com/2022/02/06/lebanon-returns-337-artifacts-of-different-eras-to-iraq/ Lebanon returns 337 artifacts of different eras to Iraq

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