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Iraqi antiquities

I wonder if any list member would be interested in the following, or even
be able to suggest whether representations might help, and if so to whom
they should be directed.

Last year the Iraq Interests Section in London took delivery of two stone
sculptures which had been looted from archaeological sites in northern
Iraq. One of these was a fragment of bas-relief from the palace of
Sennacherib at Nineveh. It had been purchased by a collector and was
handed back to the Iraqi authorities after a private agreement between the
two sides.  The other was the head of a Medusa from the Parthian city of
Hatra, and had been seized from a London dealer by Scotland Yard after it
had been identified as looted from the site by an Italian archaeologist.

The Iraqi Interests Section now wishes to repatriate these two pieces, but
their application to do this has been referred by the UK government to the
Sanctions Committee in New York (where presumably it will go to the bottom
of a very large pile).

Any comment?

Nicholas Postgate
Trinity College
Cambridge CB2 1TQ

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