Germany investigates man in possession of artifacts stolen from Syria

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – German authorities said on Wednesday that they were investigating a man in possession of a collection of artifacts dating back to ancient Syria.

The artifacts that were seized by the German police included a millennia-old cuneiform tablet which is inscribed with one of the earliest known writing systems from 2,350-2,250 B.C., dates back to the ancient Kingdom of Ebla, and may have been stolen from a museum in Idlib Governorate, northwest Syria, according to investigators in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg.

The man claimed to have acquired the tablet from an old Bavarian collection as an investment and for possible resale, but investigators found this claim to be false.

Investigators said that the tablet had probably been illegally imported into Germany after being stolen from the museum in Idlib in 2015.

Additionally, the man’s collection in the city of Heilbronn included another cuneiform tablet and “ushabti” figurines, small sandstone statues buried in the tombs of pharaohs and other important people.

Idlib Governorate is still under the control of the Syrian opposition.

Syria’s archaeological heritage has been badly affected by fighting during the civil war.

By Emma Jamal