Iraq would restore 15,000 antiquities from U.S. soon: PM

Islamic State extremists bring down priceless Iraqi antiquities in Mosul.

Baghdad ( – Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said on Tuesday that his country would restore 15,000 ancient artifacts from the United States soon.

“Iraq was and will always remain a cultural and historical center, and we must make use of this great legacy to build the present and future of the country,” Abdul-Mahdi said during his visit to the National Museum of Iraq.

Hailing the museum as “a great learning and humanitarian edifice,” the prime minister pointed out that about 15,000 monuments will be restored from the U.S. soon.

The museum is home to a large number of antiquities dating back to various pre-modern, modern, contemporary and Islamic periods.

Abdul-Mahdi called for drawing the world attention to the National Museum, which he said is unique in terms of the monuments being displayed there.

Several archaeological sites in Iraq suffered grievous damage at the hands of the Islamic State group, which declared a caliphate in the summer of 2014 from Mosul city.

After capturing the second largest city of Mosul, the IS group released a series of videos, showing its members smashing artifacts at Mosul Museum and blowing up parts of the site of the Assyrian capital of Nimrud.

Several activists, officials and historians condemned IS at the time for the destruction of the ancient Assyrian archaeological sites, while UNESCO described the act as a war crime.

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