BEIRUT – The Lebanese government is determined to recover antiquities looted during the country’s 1975-1990 civil war, the culture minister said on Friday during an exhibition of looted artworks recently returned from the United States.
In a ceremony at the National Museum in Beirut, Ghattas Khoury thanked all of those who work to combat trafficking in pieces of Lebanon’s cultural heritage.
Khoury told EFE that the ministry is certain that there are many more stolen antiquities to be found and vowed to continue the search until all of them are recovered.
On Jan. 12, Lebanese authorities received three marble works from the US, including the head of a bull that was exhibited at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. Believed to be of Greek origin, the piece is estimated to date from 360 BC and is valued at $1.2 million.
The marble pieces were initially discovered in 1970 near the Lebanese city of Sidon and were moved at some point to Byblos, from where they were stolen in 1981.
Numerous archaeological sites were looted during the civil war.