1998 News Story

Iraqi antiquities recovered, returned by Saudi authorities

The Kingdom of  Saudi Arabia has handed over stolen Iraqi antiquities, recovered from a group of Iraqi refugees, to the UN's Higher Commission for Refugees Affairs.  The Iraqi refugees were trying to smuggle the antiquities into other countries. The antiquities were handed over on Monday to UNSCO's office in Qatar in the presence of the regional representative of the UN's Higher Commission in the GCC member states.  The 54 pieces of antiquities were taken from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Qatar by the head of the mission of the higher commission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the request of the Saudi government and delivered to the Iraqi ambassador to Qatar under the supervision of the UNESCO office in Doha, in its capacity as the concerned authority with issues of heritage and culture.  Speaking on the occasion, Saudi ambassador to Qatar Hamad ibn Salih al-Toeimi said the decision of the Kingdom in this regard was in line with its moral values.  The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is keen on preservation of the heritage and culture of the countries of the region, he said and added that the Kingdom has been cooperating with the concerned international organizations in this regard.