The Culture Ministry Thursday announced that an ancient marble sculpture of a bull's head seized by authorities in New York earlier this year will be handed over to Lebanese authorities within the next two weeks.
In a statement, the ministry said the bull's head was reportedly excavated from the Temple of Eshmun - the Phoenician god of healing - in Sidon in 1967 but was later being stolen from a General Directorate of Antiquities storage facility during the Civil War. Eventually, it found its way to New York.
Upon receiving information that the sculpture was on loan at the Metropolitan Museum in New York in January, the Culture Ministry said it notified the US Embassy in Beirut and worked to secure the artifact's return through a civil case in US courts.
The ministry thanked the Law office of Cleary Gottlieb for their work during the case, which they reportedly carried out on a pro bono basis.
The Ministry was also notified that another marble sculpture of a torso was found in the same art collection, which the ministry said also likely originates from the same site in Sidon. The statement said the Ministry will work with US authorities to secure the second artifact's repatriation.
"The Ministry will continue its efforts to repatriate the artifacts looted from Lebanon during the civil war with a view to reconstructing Lebanon's rich cultural heritage," the statement said, adding that anyone with information relating to this topic should contact the ministry.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team