U.S. returns ancient tablets to Iraq on Thursday – Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky

Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky 2021-09-23 07:40:39 –

Washington — Looted from a museum in Iraq 30 years ago. Today, the 3,500-year-old clay tablets found in the ruins of the King’s Library in the ancient Middle East have finally returned to Iraq.

The relic is known as the Gilgamesh Dream Tablet. The tablet is written in cuneiform, the ancient Akkadian language, and dates back to around 1500 BC.

This text contains part of the Gilgamesh epic, a poem written at least 4,000 years ago.

Authorities believe it was illegally looted from Iraq and imported into the United States in 2003. NPRThe tablet exchanged hands several times among antique dealers in the next decade until 2014.

That’s when Christie’s Auction House sold the Gilgamesh Dream Tablets to the craft store chain Hobby Lobby.

The Hobby Lobby is owned by the Greens, who also own the Bible Museum in Washington, DC. The family moved the tablet to the museum at the time of purchase.

A federal agent conducting a Homeland Security investigation seized a tablet from the museum in September 2019. In July Federal judge approves confiscation of tablets, Pave the way for it to be returned to Iraq.

The artifacts will be repatriated at a ceremony at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indians later Thursday.

“By returning these illegally acquired objects, authorities here in the United States and Iraq have allowed Iraqi people to reconnect to their history page,” said UNESCO Secretary-General Audrey Asley. Said in a statement..

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