Other cases of return or restitution of cultural objects

In some cases, the 1970 Convention does not apply formally: either the States involved have not ratified this instrument or one condition if application is not fulfilled (as non-retroactivity). Other solutions are therefore sought so that Parties concerned can find a mutually acceptable agreement. Even if they do not reflect a strict application of the dispositions of the Convention, these solutions are often adopted in accordance with the spirit and the principles contained in this treaty.

Germany - Iraq, September 2013

Cylinder seals © German Federal Foreign Office

Thirteen ancient artifacts have been returned to Iraq, among them at least one object stolen from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad in 2003.

Among the objects seized by German law enforcement authorities were eight cylinder seals of up to 5000 years of age as well as several sculptures.

Tablet of cuneiform script © German Federal Foreign Office

Respecting the instructions left in the will of a private individual, a group of heirs has conveyed a tablet of cuneiform script, that presumably originated from the Nimrod palace, to the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq, in Berlin.

Germany – Kosovo, February 2013

Vinca Statuettes ©Hessian Ministry for Science and Art

Germany returned seven prehistoric terracotta figures of the Vinca-culture of the Neolithic age to the Republic of Kosovo. The objects had been seized by German authorities in 2005. Although the Republic of Kosovo is not a signatory of the 1970 UNESCO Convention, the return of the illegally exported objects was based on the common approach to fight illicit trafficking of cultural objects and the good intergovernmental cooperation between Germany and Kosovo.

Vinca Statuette ©Hessian Ministry for Science and Art

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