Saturday, April 08, 2006

200 ARTIFACTS RETURNED TO IRAQ MUSEUM

Good news! The Antiquities Inspectorate in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf has retrieved more than 200 archaeological pieces that were stolen mainly from the Iraq Museum in Baghdad.

Mohammed Hadi, inspectorate chief, attributed the success in finding the missing artifacts to a ruling by the city's high-ranking clerics banning trade in antiquties and demanding the return of the stolen items.

The ruling says antiquities are part "of national wealth and belong to the public" therefore collecting them for personal or commercial reason is illegal.

Hadi said that the pieces were brought to his office voluntarily. "There are jars of different shapes and sizes, gold and silver ornaments, statues, coins, cylinder seals, among others," he said.

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