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France has transferred 25 000 archaeological items to Morocco

Almost three tons of paleontological and archaeological items acquired by looters and illegally removed from the territory of Morocco were returned by French authorities.

The Quirinal Palace
Foto: The Quirinal Palace in Rome
Source: Direction générale des Douanes et Droits indirects

In 2005 and 2006, customs officials of the French cities of Arles and Perpignan intercepted three vehicles which contained a multitude of fossils, trilobites, teeth, skulls and jaws of animals, arrowheads, and even fragments of cave art. Altogether, 24 459 items weighing 2 900 kg. were confiscated. Such an impressive volume indicates that these finds were not accidental, but were the result of systematic plundering excavations.

In 2007, Moroccan authorities expressed their wish to return these illegally obtained and removed archaeological antiquities. On February 26th, 2021, an official remission ceremony for the confiscated archaeological relics to the Moroccan minister of culture was held.

Having been dug up by looters, these items have lost their scientific value, which is a huge loss for the historical heritage of all of mankind. Now these ancient items can be used only for educational or pedagogical purposes for the creation of small school or municipal museums.

Source: Direction générale des Douanes et Droits indirects

Evgeniy Saunin, 16 March 2021, 19:40

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