Germany Returned Smuggled Cultural Property To Iraq In 2015, 2016 - Government

Germany Returned Smuggled Cultural Property to Iraq in 2015, 2016 - Government

Germany returned cultural property illegally brought into the country from Iraq in 2015 and 2016, but there have not been instances of returning Syria's artifacts so far, a representative of German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grutters told Sputnik on Friday.

BERLIN (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 09th November, 2018) Germany returned cultural property illegally brought into the country from Iraq in 2015 and 2016, but there have not been instances of returning Syria's artifacts so far, a representative of German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media Monika Grutters told Sputnik on Friday.

"In 2015 and 2016, Germany already managed to return cultural property to Iraq. No returns have been made to Syria so far. An overview of the returned cultural property from all over the world that had been exported illegally from their countries of origin can be found on the UNESCO website," the representative said.

As for the Syrian artifacts, German customs follow the EU regulations that prohibit importing and exporting any cultural property from Syria where national museums, libraries and archives face a serious threat of robbery amid the ongoing war, the representative added.

The head of the Syrian Directorate-General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), Muhammad Nazeer Awad, told Sputnik in October that it was now impossible to estimate the total value of the artifacts smuggled from Syria during the war. More than 4,500 showpieces have been stolen from a museum in the Syrian city of Raqqa alone, Awad said.

Illegal antiquities trade was one of the biggest sources of revenue for the Islamic State terror group (outlawed in Russia) when it was active across Syria and Iraq.

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