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Part of a Sumerian wall plaque, evaluated at tens of thousands of pounds, will be returned to Iraq


The unique Sumerian artifact, dated 2400 BC, was recognised as looted and taken off sale at the British auction house. The seller relinquished claims of ownership for the rare piece, and in two months, during which the sculpture will be on display at the British Museum, it will be sent to its birthplace in Iraq.

Part of a Sumerian wall plaque
Foto British Museum

In May 2019, a specialist of the British Museum discovered part of an ancient Sumerian plaque, which was around 4400 years old and had been stolen from the territory of modern southern Iraq, among the lots of the British auction TimeLine Auctions. Neither the representatives of the auction house nor the seller were notified of the lot’s status as it was not entered into any museum register and was not listed as lost or stolen.

After the police appealed to the auction house, the lot was immediately taken off sale, and the seller relinquished any claims of ownership and wished for the artifact to be returned to its place of origin.

As stated by a specialist from the British Museum, approximately 50 objects from Mesopotamia of such significance are known in the world. He also suggested that as time goes on, other fragments of this shattered plaque may also be found.

Source: The Guardian

Evgeniy Saunin, 30 September 2020, 14:30

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