Saudi Arabia returns stolen historical documents to Iraq

November 06, 2019

Saudi Gazette report

Saudi Arabia, represented by the Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage (SCTH), handed over the stolen historical documents to Iraq.

The documents were in the custody of an Arab expatriate in the Kingdom, who possessed them illegally and posted some of them on the Internet.

Rustom Al-Kubeissi, vice president of the National Heritage Sector at SCTH, handed over the documents to Iraqi Ambassador Dr. Qahtan Taha Khalaf, at a ceremony held at the National Gallery of King Abdulaziz Historical Center in Riyadh on Wednesday.

The documents contain 250 papers dating back to the beginning of 1940 and owned by Iraq’s House of Books and Documents and related to the ruling family in that period.

The documents, which had been smuggled into the Kingdom, were confiscated within the territory of the Kingdom with the cooperation and efforts of partners of SCTH in the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Public Prosecution.

The Commission had then taken the procedures to return these documents to their country of origin.

The handover of these documents comes in implementation of the UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transport of Ownership of Cultural Property, adopted in 1970.

This is the third time that the Kingdom had handed over cultural property to Iraq. The Kingdom had previously delivered antiquities during the years of 2009 and 2010 in cooperation with partners, in its commitment to preserve the world heritage and the implementation of international agreements in this regard.

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