Dutch gov’t returns stolen antiquities to Iraq
Friday, 10 July 2009 08:24
Germany, July 10, (Pal Telegraph) – The Dutch government has turned over dozens of antiquities stolen from Iraq to Baghdad’s ambassador.
The 69 pieces include cylindrical stone seals older than 2000 B.C. and a terra-cotta relief depicting a bearded man praying. Dutch Education, Culture and Science Minister Ronald Plasterk said Thursday the ancient artifacts were surrendered by Dutch traders after police informed them they were stolen.
He has called on other countries to do more to halt the illicit trade in stolen antiquities.
U.S. customs authorities and Interpol had alerted Dutch authorities that the items were being sold here.
Diederik Meijer of the Dutch National Museum for Antiquities declined to put a value on the artifacts, saying it could boost the trade.