Italy returns scores of smuggled artifacts to Iran

November 9, 2016 - 18:6

TEHRAN – A total of 30 historical artifacts smuggled into Italy in 2008, including early-Islamic era earthenware and jewelries, were returned home late on November 6.

The artifacts were initially delivered to the Iranian Embassy in Rome before they ended up their journey to the National Museum of Iran (NMI), CHTN reported on Tuesday.

“The police forces in Monza seized the looted relics together with several other collections in June 2008 after an Italian antiquities dealer of Pakistani origins shipped them from Bangkok to Italy,” ISNA quoted NMI Director Jebreil Nokandeh as saying on Monday.  

Iran, avidly seeking to reclaim the artifacts, brought the case to a European court together with some compelling evidence.

Documents provided by Iran had already received confirmations from the National Museum of Oriental Art in Rome, where the haul of historical objects were being kept.

Ultimately, the court ruled that parts of the collection should be handed over to the Iranian Embassy, Nokandeh explained. 

In a similar move, a number of other Iranian artifacts smuggled to the European country over the past decade, found their way back home in July 2015.

“After years of hard-fought legal battle with the Italian art authorities, the Iranian legal team managed to win back the stolen artifacts following a restitution order by an appellate court in the northern Italian city of Milan,” Press TV reported.

Earlier in May, Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicraft Organization publicized a call for assistance, asking Iranians abroad to inform the organization in case of tracing smuggled artifacts and antiquities of Iranian heritage.

PHPTO: A file photo, shot at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, depicts an early-Islamic era earthenware bowl handcrafted in northeastern Iranian city of Neyshabur.  

AFM/MG

Leave a Comment

5 + 3 =