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France Returns Looted Artefacts To Pakistan

Image Courtesy: Reuters

French authorities on Tuesday handed almost 450 relics to Pakistan. Some of them date back to 4000 BC. The relics in question were seized by French customs back in 2006.

Customs agents at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport intercepted a parcel from Pakistan containing 17 terracotta pots. They were addressed to a museum in the city, the claim was the said pots are hundred years old. However, further investigation revealed that the artefacts date back to the second millennium BC and were stolen from historical burial sites in Balochistan.

The relics are worth up to 139,000 euros as per estimates. The items were displayed at the Pakistan Embassy to mark the handover. AFP reports that among the items was a series of beautifully-decorated pots, vases, and jars, all painstakingly adorned with small, stylized motifs of animals, plants, and trees.

“This is very, very important for us,” said Abbas Sarwar Qureshi, head of the chancery at the Pakistani embassy where France’s top customs official attended a formal handover ceremony.

“Some of the items are 6,000 years old from the Mehrgarh civilization,” Qureshi told AFP, referring to an era that predates the Indus Valley civilization which flourished around 3,000 BC before mysteriously disappearing.

Qureshi said the 445 objects would be shipped back to Pakistan “within a few weeks,” although it was not immediately clear where they would be exhibited.

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