Foreign Minister Westerwelle returns ancient gold vessel to Iraq
The Phoenician gold vase dating to the third millennium BC was secured by the authorities in Munich, and can now be returned to its country of origin. Foreign Minister Westerwelle also handed over Babylonian cuneiform tablets to Iraq this May.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle today (4 July) handed over a gold vessel originating in ancient Iraq to Hussein Al-Katheeb, the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to Germany. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Al-Shahristani was also present.
The gold vessel is an ancient object dating to the third millennium BC. It was secured by the authorities following an auction in Munich in 2005.
The return of the vessel fits into the German Government’s larger efforts to implement the 2003 EU-level import ban on Iraqi cultural assets which have been exported from the country since 6 August 1990, as well as to support Iraq in retrieving its cultural assets. Foreign Minister Westerwelle also handed over three Babylonian cuneiform tablets to Iraq this May.