Friday, September 15, 2006

Looted artefacts returned
By Richard Beeston, Diplomatic Editor (Times of London)

COMMANDER Sue Wilkinson of Scotland Yard returned two stolen artefacts yesterday to Hoshyar Zebari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, and Salah al-Shaikhly, the Iraqi Ambassador to Britain.

The items were part of a haul of looted antiquities that were smuggled out of the country and put up for sale on the international art market.

There's a small photo of the incantation bowl, too small for the script to be readable.

UPDATE: More coverage from the A.P. via the International Herald Tribune:
Artifacts stolen in Iraq are returned to country's ambassador in London
The Associated Press

Published: September 14, 2006
LONDON An ancient manuscript that was stolen from Iraq nearly 30 years ago was returned Thursday to the country's ambassador in London.

The manuscript, written in 1013 by Arab physician Ar-Razi, was one of the oldest books of the AwQaf library in Mosul, northern Iraq. It is worth an estimated 250,000 pounds (€370,758, US$427,130).

It was stolen from the library in 1977, and remained missing until a man attempted to sell it to a London auction house in 2003. The Metropolitan Police's specialist Arts and Antiques Unit was alerted, and an investigation began in August 2003.

Although a man was later arrested, there was not enough evidence to prosecute him. However, the man chose to give up the manuscript and since then, officers have been working with the Iraqi authorities to return it.

The Aramaic bowl is also discussed. And the BBC has an article on both artifacts as well:
Stolen Iraqi artefact returned
Met detectives have returned a valuable Iraqi manuscript worth £250,000 after it was stolen almost 30 years ago.
Here's what it says about the bowl:
A second artefact was also returned - an ancient Aramaic incantation bowl believed to have been illegally looted from an unknown area of Iraq and worth about £1,000 to £2,000.

No comments:

Post a Comment