German official: Verdict of Alsistani saved antiquities—we will return stolen antiquities to Iraq

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German in-charge of pursuing stolen antiquities Dr. Michael Muller Carey, who participated in the First International Conference on Iraq’s Heritage and Antiquities, said that the verdict of picking up arms against ISIS, issued by sayyid Alsistan saved the rest of Iraq's ancient antiquities and shrines from getting demolished by ISIS, and prevented the terrorists (ISIS) from advancing.

He added, “This verdict should be commemorated – not only in Iraq, but all over the world – by the concerned with antiquities.”

Carey said further that all the countries around the world should support Iraq to protect its antiquities, and that Iraqis, Iraqi government, and the curators of Iraq's museums need to exert pressure on the international organizations and presidents of the countries to help Iraq restore many of its antiquities stolen and sold abroad by ISIS.

He noted that ISIS entered Iraq to destroy and steal antiquities was for two reasons: first, they thought such antiquities were unimportant—second, they wanted to steal them to sell them in order to support themselves financially.

Carey then indicated that the international code of protecting antiquities has not been serious to be in effect, and it’s been too weak to criminalize such violations against Iraq’s and the Islamic heritage and antiquities.

He concluded, saying, “There are mafias that help smuggle and sell antiquities,” adding, “We’ve restored many antiquities, some of which belong to Ur civilization, to Iraq  by contacting the Department of State,” noting that if his country finds any Iraqi antiquity, it is going to return it to Iraq.


Editing: Ibrahim ElUainey

Interpretation: Haider Almangushey

Translation: Mohammed Alobaidi

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