Iraqi President of the Republic of Iraq – Dr Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid, announced the restoration of (6,000) thousand artefacts that were borrowed from the United Kingdom in 1923 and for (100) years for study and research purposes. The announcement was made during his dialogue in a press conference where he confirmed the return of the artefacts to Baghdad.
During a press conference held Tuesday, May 9, 2023, at Baghdad International Airport, the President confirmed that he returned to the country from the United Kingdom after completing an official visit to attend the coronation ceremony of King Charles III, that he returned with him (6,000) artefacts dating back to different stages of the history of Iraq civilizations.
As per the reports, the return of these artefacts from the United Kingdom is the second largest recovery process in the history of Iraq, the President added. He further noted that the process embodies the keenness to protect the civil heritage that represents the national identity, the country’s historical and civil memory and its great humanitarian signs.
During the conference, a number of ministers from the government were present, including the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Archaeology, Dr Ahmed Fakak Al-Badrani, the Foreign Minister, Mr Omar Al-Barzangi, the Director of the General Board of Archaeology and Heritage, Dr Laith Majid, and the Deputy British Ambassador to Iraq, Mrs Serena Stone.
President expressed his support for efforts to recover the artefacts until they are restored. In addition, he added, “The last piece of our national wealth goes to the Iraqi Museum, and as Iraq preserves this glorious history, we are grateful for the efforts made, and praising the cooperation of the British Museum in restoring the stolen Iraqi artefacts.”
During his address, the President of the Republic, Abdul Latif Jamal Rashid, expressed his heartiest greetings to the people and media personnel; he noted, “THANK YOU FOR THE ATTENDANCE.”
He continued his remarks during the press conference and cited, “As we conclude our visit to the United Kingdom and in connection with the efforts made by the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Archaeology, and the Iraqi Embassy in London, this blessed day witnessed the return of nearly (6000) thousand artefacts from the United Kingdom to Iraq.”
He stated that the recovered pieces had been in Britain for a year (1923). On loan and for (100) years for scientific research, study, and translation purposes, restored in collaboration with the British Museum.
The retrieval of these artefacts from the United Kingdom is the second largest restoration operation in the history of Iraq, embodies the keenness to protect the civil heritage that represents the national identity, the country’s historical and civil memory, and its great humanitarian signs, said the President.
It was also said that President Rashid also added, “We confirm our support and continuous follow-up to the efforts to restore the artefacts that have been looted, stolen and smuggled outside the country.”
Furthermore, he ensured the people that until the last piece of our national treasures is returned to the Iraqi Museum, in order to preserve this glorious history of Iraq and its civilization, which is one of the oldest human civilizations on the colonized land.
Moreover, President also applauded the UK authorities for keeping their promise of returning the artefacts and cited, “On this occasion, we express our thanks and appreciation to the United Kingdom for fulfilling its promises (100) years ago to restore the artefacts and its commitment to preserving them all these years, and we value the constructive cooperation in this matter, especially from the British Museum.”
“We hope that the Iraqi artefacts that were loaned to the British side have brought all humanity to the forefront and that the scientists, with their valuable research and studies, have reached fruitful and scientific results that serve the history of humanity,” said the President during his address.
He concluded that the Iraqi government also commended the national efforts made by the Presidency, the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Archaeology, the Foreign Affairs, and the Iraqi Embassy in London for the purpose of completing the recovery of these important artefacts, and I also thank the presence of the British Embassy at this conference.