Iraq – Foreign Ministry Delivers Hundreds of Artifacts to National Museum
Foreign Ministry held big celebration to deliver Iraqi antiquities from numerous countries to the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities and the Iraq National Museum.
The celebration was attended in addition to the Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Minister of State for Tourism and Antiquities, Undersecretary of Foreign Ministry, Mr. Labeed Abawi, Dr. Amira Eidan Director of the Iraq National Museum, American Ambassador and several of his professional cultural relations assistants, big number of ambassadors and employees of the ministry, in addition to the Iraqi and Foreign Media.
The ceremony began with an address by his Excellency Foreign Minister Zebari pointing to the importance of Iraqi antiquities for Iraqis as they are pillar of their identity and record of civilization and the intense pain that they have suffered because of the loss of many of them over the past years particularly in 2003 after the entrance of U.S. troops to Iraq, and also praised the long strenuous efforts fruitful work carried out by the Ministry through its embassies to recover what can be recovered , these efforts culminated in this wide range antiquities most of which were obtained by the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq in Washington, 542 piece, and also thanked the cooperation of the U.S Government in the restoration of many of these Antiquities .
Then Mr. Qahtan Al- Jubori, Minister of State for Tourism and Antiquities commended the efforts of the Foreign Ministry and praised them and thanked all those who participated in restoring such treasures to their homeland.
Iraq’s ambassador to the United States, Mr. Samir Sumaida’ie, who spoke about the march of more than four years which culminated in the collection of more than 1172-pieces received this day, the 542 pieces include a statue Antmina (King of the of Sumerian) and dates back to 2400 BC, and gold earrings dating back to the treasures of Nimrud, which was stolen around 1990 in mysterious circumstances and big number of clay tablets back to the Babylonian period repaired and restored in the United States before being shipped to Iraq.
Dr Amira Eidan director of the national museum expressed her happiness on this occasion, which represents an important move on the road to return what Iraq lost from the historical treasures and considered successful by all international standards, so far more than (35000 pieces) were returned to Iraq, Dr. Amira Eidan thanked the Foreign Minister, Iraq’s ambassador to the United States for their personal interest and to the Ambassador’s personal following -up for the details of each group.
Finally, the US ambassador in Iraq, James Jeffrey, expressed his Government’s satisfaction for these successes and pointed to the United States’ program that announced at that time by the First Lady Laura Bush in 2008 at the Iraqi Embassy to allocate approximately 14 million dollars to protect Iraqi cultural heritage.
Then, the Foreign Minister, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities and director of the Iraqi National Museum signed on the delivery documents and receipt in front of cameras, the attendance directed to the hall in which the antiquities were shown, and Dr Amira Eidan explain the details of some of these antiquities to the guests.