Former Minister of Culture: It was the American company Hobby Lobby that stole the antiquities of Iraq

Baghdad The Former Minister of Culture, the visiting professor at New York University, Abdul Amir Al-Hamdani confirmed that the American company Hobby Lobby stole the antiquities of Iraq.

Al-Hamdani said in a televised statement: “Protecting 15,000 archaeological sites is a difficult task and needs to raise awareness among people, noting that any looting in Iraq’s antiquities causes a misunderstanding of the history of the civilization of Mesopotamia.”

He added, “the splitting of the third river in 1992 destroyed more than 70 archaeological sites.”

He continued, “The antiquities theft gangs are backed by external parties, adding that the antiquities that arrived in New York via Dubai came under the title of gifts and antiques.”

He said, “There are many academics, including Americans, cooperating in the smuggling of antiquities, adding that there are many European archaeologists involved in the theft.”

He continued, “Academic David O’Neill is responsible for stealing tens of thousands of antiquities from Iraq.”

He explained, that it was agreed in 2018 between Iraq and America on the return of the Jewish archive, but the matter has not been completed so far.

He stressed that the protection of antiquities is a task that everyone should contribute to, declaring that after 2003, many sites were installed at UNESCO.

Source: National Iraqi News Agency