360 items catalogued
US, Kurdistan Region talk repatriation of artifacts
ERBIL — A delegation from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq, in coordination with the U.S. Consulate in Erbil, recently visited the General Directorate of Antiquities in the Kurdistan Region to discuss the repatriation of artifacts belonging to the region.
Kayfi Mustafa, the General Director of Antiquities in the Kurdistan Region, told 964media that the delegation reported having 360 artifacts in the United States and plans to send catalogs and images of these items.
If confirmed to be owned by the Kurdistan region, these artifacts will be returned to local museums.
The discussions also focused on measures to protect antiquities and enhance coordination between the Directorate of Antiquities and security forces to prevent theft and illegal excavations at archaeological sites.
Mustafa noted that last year, 30 instances of looting at archaeological sites were reported, indicating the possible possession of unreported artifacts by individuals.
“The talks further encompassed the Kurdistan Region’s Antiquities Law, conservation efforts, and strategies to curb trafficking and theft of artifacts.
Additionally, the discussions highlighted cooperation among various government entities, including courts, security agencies, and the police,” he added.
The U.S. delegation expressed their readiness to aid in the return of any artifacts found abroad that are proven to belong to the Kurdistan Region, ensuring their reinstatement in local museums.