Among the objects on display is a small dolerite statue dating to around 2130BC, purchased by the museum in the 1930s. © 2020 BBC. Russia 'threatened to ram' US ship in Sea of Japan, How sunshine can make the railways greener. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. The British Museum's director Hartwig Fischer said the organisation was "absolutely committed to the fight against illicit trade and damage to cultural heritage". “This is an issue that concerns us all,” he went on. Fresh ideas from museums around the globe in your inbox each week. Cuneiform is one of the earliest writing systems known to have existed so any items that feature it are extremely valuable from an academic point of view. Iraq UK Artifacts Archeology Mesopotamia British Museum A+ A A- ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The British Museum announced on Friday that it had successfully returned to the Iraqi government 156 ancient artifacts that were plundered following the 2003 toppling of the former regime of Saddam Hussein. The British Museum is also working with border forces and other agencies to return items which had been confiscated during conflict periods in the countries of origin. The objects were seized by police from a now-defunct London dealer in 2003. Perhaps more famously – and more controversially – the museum also holds on to the so-called Elgin Marbles. ': Justin Trudeau 'fields call from pranksters', Metal monolith found by helicopter crew in Utah desert, US-China trade war: Trump gives one last twist, A harsh reality in coal country - with or without Trump, Thailand's 'largest ketamine bust' turns out to be cleaning agent, New Brunswick outbreak: How a smalltown doctor became a Covid pariah, US shares set records as investor optimism grows, Coronavirus: The agonising Thanksgiving dilemma facing millions of Americans, US returns 'looted' royal seals to South Korea after 60 years. After years in police storage, the collection was taken to the British Museum in 2018. By revisiting the site after decades, Rey and a team of local trainee archaeologists discovered not only the site of the king’s 4,000-year-old temple, but also a bakery attached to the temple where huge quantities of bread would have been produced as offerings to the gods. For example, a collection of inscribed cones: similar items were found inside the temple’s walls as talismanic deposits. Germany returns 3,000-year-old Olmec statues to Mexico, How sunshine can make the railways greener. The shipment of these ancient artefacts was being made to the UK from the United Arab Emirates when they were intercepted. Video, Pandemic highlights anger at Amazon in France, US election 2020: Biden says White House co-operation 'sincere', 'Hello Greta! .css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}Eight 5,000-year-old artefacts looted from Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein will be returned after being identified by the British Museum. The collection has spent 15 years in the hands of the state but has now been established as being from a site in Tello in southern Iraq. The exhibition features artefacts removed from Iraq in the 19th and early 20th centuries. However, the items were not in the direct possession of the museum itself. For decades they have been part of the collection of the British Museum, appreciated for their individual significance but in many cases shorn of much of their context owing to the circumstances of their discovery and retrieval during the buccaneering period of early archaeology. Several years later, the British Museum has finally returned them to the country from which they were first illegally removed. Video, How sunshine can make the railways greener, Tech making it easier to see inside babies' brains. In fact, some of the haul that was intercepted included cylinder impressions which remain sealed within their clay envelopes. ': Justin Trudeau 'fields call from pranksters'3, Metal monolith found by helicopter crew in Utah desert4, US-China trade war: Trump gives one last twist5, A harsh reality in coal country - with or without Trump6, Thailand's 'largest ketamine bust' turns out to be cleaning agent7, New Brunswick outbreak: How a smalltown doctor became a Covid pariah8, US shares set records as investor optimism grows9, Coronavirus: The agonising Thanksgiving dilemma facing millions of Americans10. The exhibition, titled Ancient Iraq: New Discoveries, will visit the Great North Museum in Newcastle and the University of Nottingham Museum between March and December. The exhibition, titled Ancient Iraq: New Discoveries, will visit the Great North Museum in Newcastle and the University of Nottingham Museum between March and December. This is a written decree in several languages which was first fashioned in 196 BCE. Looted in the past and subsequently brought to the UK, the collection of historic artefacts included over 150 inscription tablets and some Sumerian-era administrative documents. Babylonian scholars understand that the items being returned to Iraq are of exceptional value. Tech making it easier to see inside babies' brains. In a move that has been welcomed by a number of museum professionals and some cultural commentators – who have referred to it as a... MuseumNext earns commissions from purchases made through some links on this website. Amongst them were some unique correspondence in the form of letters, schoolwork and mathematical texts. In fact, it was the UK’s customs officials who realised they were looking at historic items – many of them date from between 2100 BCE and 1800 BCE – and asked the British Museum to assist them. Some of the items sent back to Iraq … None of the items were accompanied by documentation when first discovered in England by the Metropolitan Police - and the dealer they were taken from made no attempt to reclaim them. The glorious marble sculptures were fashioned at the height of Athenian power in the fifth century BCE and are one of the jewels in the crown of the British Museum. The items, which include a marble bull pendant, will be presented to the Iraqi embassy in London on Friday. Video, Tech making it easier to see inside babies' brains, Pandemic highlights anger at Amazon in France. For example, the priceless Rosetta Stone, a tablet from ancient Egypt that is over 2,200 years old, remains on display in the museum. .css-8h1dth-Link{font-family:ReithSans,Helvetica,Arial,freesans,sans-serif;font-weight:700;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;color:#FFFFFF;}.css-8h1dth-Link:hover,.css-8h1dth-Link:focus{-webkit-text-decoration:underline;text-decoration:underline;}Read about our approach to external linking. Oct 23, 2020 The British authorities will return practically 5,000 stolen artifacts to Iraq, the workplace of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi mentioned Friday. Some of the items sent back to Iraq were said to have been over four millennia old. Now dozens of important artefacts that were removed from Iraq in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are being brought back into focus in an exhibition drawing on groundbreaking discoveries made by Iraqi archaeologists amid the turbulence of the country’s recent history. Speaking to reporters, he said, “We are committed to the fight against the illegal trade [in historical artefacts]… and to the damage it causes to cultural heritage.”. Eight 5,000-year-old artefacts looted from Iraq following the fall of Saddam Hussein will be returned after being identified by the British Museum.