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Shafaq News/ The Iraqi Foreign Minister, Fouad Hussein announced, on Sunday, that his country had recovered 18,000 artifacts smuggled to other countries, calling for the need to put in place a mechanism to limit the sabotage, destruction and smuggling of human property.
This came in a speech he inaugurated the Forum of Ancient Civilizations in its sixth edition, whose work was launched today in the capital, Baghdad, with the participation of a number of Arab and foreign countries, in addition to a representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In his speech, Hussein said that this forum is a diplomatic approach to enhance strategic partnerships and sustainable coordination to support global efforts to meet global challenges in various fields and contribute to achieving sustainable development.
He stressed that Iraq was subjected, at different periods of time, to systematic theft and smuggling of its cultural heritage, which does not represent the private property of Iraq alone, but rather is the enrichment of humanity as a whole.
The minister went on to say that the world witnessed the extent of the vandalism pursued by ISIS in Iraq, so the Iraqi government took the initiative to stop the sabotage operations, as it adopted a culture of recovery, which resulted in the return of 18,000 artifacts dating back to different eras through cooperation with Iraq's partners and friends.
He explained that "we need a joint mechanism to reduce the smuggling of cultural property if our countries fall victim to such illegal acts. The Iraqi government, through the Iraqi parliament, had a role in enacting many laws to protect antiquities and heritage buildings as a cultural heritage and a scientific edifice that represents the civilizational identity of the people."
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