US returns looted artefacts to Afghanistan
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States returned a Roman wine pitcher and five gold artifacts to Afghanistan on Monday in the fourth official repatriation of stolen Afghan cultural treasures in eight years.
Kabul's ambassador to Washington, Eklil Hakimi, accepted the objects from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency during a ceremony at the Afghan embassy.
US customs officers seized the items in March 2011 at Newark airport in New Jersey after investigators discovered they were destined for a New York business suspected of dealing in looted cultural property.
The Roman vase dates from the 5th to 8th century AD, while the other objects include three 5th century BC gold foil appliques depicting antelopes and two 17th century antique coiled ornaments, ICE said in a statement.