Iraq says 3,200-year-old tablet returned from UK

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-28 01:38:37|Editor: yan
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BAGHDAD, March 27 (Xinhua) -- The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that a 3,200-year-old carved Babylonian stone tablet has been returned from Britain.

The stone tablet was handed over the Ministry of Culture, the foreign ministry said in a brief statement.

Earlier, the British authorities gave back the priceless artifact to Iraqi Ambassador to Britain Salih Husain Ali.

The ancient monument, which is said to place a curse on anyone who tries to destroy it, was looted during the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

The tablet was seized during an attempt to smuggle it into Britain, which was foiled by the British Border Force at London's Heathrow Airport.

Up to 15,000 archeological pieces of Iraqi treasure-trove from the Stone Age through the Babylonian, Assyrian and Islamic periods were stolen or destroyed by looters across Iraq, after the Saddam Hussein's regime was toppled by U.S.-led troops.

Again after the extremist Islamic State (IS) militants took control of large territories in northern and western Iraq in 2014, the museum of Mosul as well as the ruin sites of the ancient cities of Hatra and Nimrod were destroyed with large numbers of antiquities smuggled.