Iraqi FM hands over 173 returned antiquities to culture ministry

Source: Xinhua| 2019-07-30 00:32:19|Editor: Liu
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IRAQ-BAGHDAD-RETURNED ANTIQUITIES

Iraqi Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities Abdul Amir al-Hamdani (L, front) and the Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim (R, front) view the returned artifacts in Baghdad, Iraq, July 29, 2019. Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim on Monday handed to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities 173 artifacts that were returned from several countries. A statement by the Foreign Ministry said some of the artifacts were looted and smuggled outside Iraq before being returned through coordination. (Xinhua)

BAGHDAD, July 29 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim on Monday handed to the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities 173 artifacts that were returned from several countries.

A statement by the Foreign Ministry said some of the artifacts were looted and smuggled outside Iraq before being returned through coordination.

Al-Hakim "expressed the readiness of the Foreign Ministry to provide full support to the Ministry of Culture and its committees in their efforts to search for smuggled antiquities abroad, and to bring them back to the homeland."

Official statistics showed more than 10,000 sites in Iraq are officially recognized as archaeological sites, but most of them are not safeguarded with many still being looted on an unprecedented scale.

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