The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 Thursday, June 4, 2020


UK returns 3,000-year-old tablet looted during Iraq War
(L-R) Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, Iraqi Ambassador Salih Husain Ali, Michael Ellis, Under secretary of state for Arts, Heritage and Tourism and Alistair Burt, Minister for the Middle East and North Africa inspect a Babylonian cuneiform kudurru (boundary stone) which was looted from Iraq on March 19, 2019 at the British museum in London. The kudurru which was seized at London's Heathrow airport in 2012 was handed over to representatives of the Iraq embassy today at the British museum. Tolga Akmen / AFP.

by James Pheby



LONDON (AFP).- A 3,000-year-old carved stone tablet from Babylonia, which promises a curse on those who would destroy it, is to be flown home from Britain after being looted during the Iraq War.

British Museum boss Hartwig Fischer handed over the priceless work to Iraqi Ambassador Salih Husain Ali during a ceremony on Tuesday after museum experts had verified its provenance.

"It is a very important piece of Iraq's cultural heritage," said Fischer, praising the "extraordinary and tireless work" of border officials.

They spotted the object at London's Heathrow airport in 2012 and contacted the museum after being presented with fake documents.

"They seized this item when they saw it at a British port and several years later, after a lot of legal work, we are able to effect this transfer," said Michael Ellis, Britain's Minister for Arts, Heritage and Tourism.

"It's a very important and significant moment."

It is still not clear how the object was taken out of Iraq, "but we believe it was probably stolen about 15 years ago during troubles in Iraq," he said.

The kudurru is a ceremonial stone tablet recording the legal gifting of land by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar I to one of his subjects in return for distinguished service, according to curator Jonathan Taylor.

On one side are depictions of the great Babylonian gods Enlil and Marduk, and on the other, legal text written in cuneiform, the Babylonian alphabet.

Taylor said the object also carried "terrible curses" for anyone trying to claim the land or damage the tablet.

'National hero'
Fewer that 200 such objects are known to exist, and the one handed over on Tuesday was broken in antiquity and eroded, presenting a problem for sleuths trying to establish its history.

"The basic identification is quite straightforward," said Taylor.

"More difficult is tying down exactly who the king is and what the circumstances are, for that we need to read the inscription and it's quite worn, there's a lot of damage in the middle of the text," he said.

"It's old fashioned bookwork. We have a few clues."

They established the king was Nebuchadnezzar I, "a kind of national hero, a legend in his own life time".

The stone is thought to have originally been on display in the ancient city of Nippur, now in central Iraq.

"It's more than just a carved stone... It is a testament to the remarkable history of the Republic of Iraq," said Ellis.


© Agence France-Presse










Today's News

March 20, 2019

UK returns 3,000-year-old tablet looted during Iraq War

Claremont Rug Company Orchestrates the Marriage of Antique Oriental Rugs, Fine Art and Furniture




Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 



Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Buy tramadol online
sa gaming free credit

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful