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3 March 2008
Pakistan's stolen prehsitoric artifacts recovered in Italy

Pakistani archaeological artifacts have been recovered from Italy which were smuggled to the country and would now reach home in two months, officials said. Ancient artifacts from museums in the eastern city of Lahore and northwestern city of Peshawar were officially taken to Delhi by Archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler, in 1946, for exhibition but never came back home, an official of the Archaeology and Museums Department said.
     Almost 100 rare artifacts dating back as long ago as 4000 BCE were brought illegally to Italy and discovered at a 2005 antiques fair. The items have been symbolically delivered to Pakistani Ambassador in Rome and would reach Pakistan in two months. The well-preserved archaeological treasures include a number of vases, bowls, terracotta statuettes, figurines, musical instruments and coins.
     Experts from the National Museum of Oriental Art in Rome says that some of the 96 pieces came from South Balochistan which includes pottery from the Nal village 4,000 BC - 2,000 BCE and others from the Indus Valley region. The site and its pottery became famous through illegal digs and a first excavation by H.Hargreaves that took place shortly after the discovery of Mohenjo Daro and of a prehistoric urban civilization in India.

Source: IRNA (28 February 2008)

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