British Museum hands looted ancient tablets to Iraq

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An undated handout picture released by the British Museum in London on August 30, 2019 shows ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets impounded at Heathrow airport in 2011. (AFP)
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An undated handout picture released by the British Museum in London on August 30, 2019 shows ancient Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets impounded at Heathrow airport in 2011. (AFP)
Updated 30 August 2019

British Museum hands looted ancient tablets to Iraq

  • Many of the tablets come from Irisagrig, an area that was heavily looted in the aftermath of the war
  • The items mostly dated from between 2,100 BC and 1,800 BC, the London museum said in a statement

LONDON: The British Museum said Friday it had returned to Iraq a collection of 156 cuneiform tablets believed to have been looted following the US-led invasion of the country.
The items mostly dated from between 2,100 BC and 1,800 BC, the London museum said in a statement.
They were impounded by customs officials at a freight company near London Heathrow Airport in 2011.
The tablets are mostly economic documents but also include letters, legal and school texts and a mathematical document.
Many of them come from Irisagrig, an area that was heavily looted in the aftermath of the war.
The tablets were handed over to the Iraqi ambassador Saleh Altamimi and will be sent on to the Iraq Museum.
“The protection of Iraqi heritage is the responsibility of the international society which we hope to continue for future generations,” Altamimi said in the statement.


Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

Updated 30 November 2020

Fire-scarred Notre-Dame to broadcast Christmas concert

  • An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration
  • Restoration has reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire

PARIS: Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris will echo with song on Christmas Eve as it holds its first choir concert since the massive fire that nearly destroyed the gothic masterpiece last year.
An organ will be rented for the occasion, since Notre-Dame’s majestic pipe organ is being carefully dismantled for cleaning and restoration after the devastating blaze that struck on April 15, 2019.
Since then only two events have been held in the 13th-century landmark — a small mass celebrated in June 2019, and a prayer ceremony last April to mark Holy Friday.
The church remains closed to the public during the renovations.
Michel Aupetit, the archbishop of Paris, said Monday that two soloists would lead the choir and that the concert would be broadcast on radio.
Last week, the restoration reached a milestone with the removal of the last portions of metal scaffolding on the roof that melted into a tangled mess in the fire and threatened to crash to the floor.
That will allow crucial stabilization and protective work to proceed ahead of rebuilding the destroyed roof and spire.
Officials are racing to meet President Emmanuel Macron’s goal of having the cathedral restored within five years.