The Lebanese Ministry of Culture announced that it had returned 5 antiquities smuggled from the Nabu Museum to Syria, during an event held at the Beirut Museum to deliver the artifacts.
The Lebanese Minister of Culture, Muhammad Murtada, revealed the existence of other Syrian artifacts that were seized by the Lebanese security, and that they will be delivered to Damascus soon.
The minister said, "These Palmyrian antiquities were bought by the Nabu Lebanese Museum from outside Lebanon before 2010, that is, before the Syrian crisis," noting that when the Nabu Museum learned that these antiquities belonged to Syria, he decided to hand them over to the Syrian state under the auspices of the Lebanese government.
He added: "With the efforts of the General Directorate of Antiquities and the Ministry of Culture's organs, the Lebanese state was able to seize stolen Syrian antiquities that are being smuggled, and they are in the possession of the Lebanese state, and we are in the process of returning them to the brothers in Syria."
For his part, the Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdel Karim Ali, considered the return of smuggled antiquities "evidence that Syria has begun to recover," adding that Damascus is waiting for the return of other smuggled antiquities currently in the "Beirut National Museum."
This step comes as "a gesture and an initiative to embody cooperation between the two countries in the cultural field," according to the organizers.