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Afghanistan’s Looted Artifacts Are Returned

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Afghanistan’s Looted Artifacts Are Returned

Afghan officials have handed over 33 antique items which were smuggled to the United States during the war to the National Museum.

Artifacts smuggled from Afghanistan to the US were returned to the Afghan National Museum on April 29, 2021. The 33 cultural relics, valued at $1.8 million, were seized from a New York-based art dealer between 2012 and 2014. 

According to the New York Times, the artifacts were part of a hoard of 2,500 objects valued at $143 million seized in a dozen raids between 2012 and 2014 from Subhash Kapoor, a disgraced Manhattan art dealer currently jailed in India on smuggling and theft charges.
 

The Afghan National Museum and artifacts across the country had been badly damaged during years of conflicts and destruction in the war-torn country. Warlords stole other pieces and sold them abroad.

“I call on all the people of Afghanistan to stop the smugglers in a national mobilization and help our security organizations prevent illegal (mining) excavations,” Reuters quotes Afghanistan’ acting minister of information and culture, Mohammad Tahir Zuhair.


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