US hands over looted antiquities to Palestinian authorities for first time

Antiquities seized from one of the world’s greatest collectors during massive search

This is the first. This Friday, US media reported that the United States returned a nearly 3,000-year-old antiquities to the Palestinian Authority. CNN.

“The object was officially returned today by this office to Bethlehem in the West Bank during a ceremony,” he said. In a press release Manhattan District Attorney in New York.

George Noll, head of the US Office of Palestinian Affairs, called the return a “historic moment between the American and Palestinian peoples”.

Large-scale smuggling of antiquities

The ivory spoon was seized as part of an international criminal investigation in early December last year, the prosecutor said.

It was Michael Steinhardt, one of the world’s greatest collectors of ancient art, who bought the antique thanks to an Israeli dealer. Another 180 stolen items worth $70 million were also seized during the raid.

Palestinian Tourism and Antiquities Minister Rula Maya said the nearly 3,000-year-old spoon was stolen “from the Khirbet al-Qum area of ​​Hebron.”

She concluded: Antiquity “receives its true scientific and archaeological value in its true place.”

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