A collection of over 900 artifacts stolen by the U.S. arrived home to the Republic of Mali last week. Previously classified as replicas, these artifacts were illegally trafficked in the United States. Found in 2009, they were passed over to anthropologists to determine their authenticity. It took 12 years, but these treasures finally made it back.
In a symbolic gesture, Mali Prime Minister Choguel Kokalla Maiga was handed a small number of attentively packed boxes by U.S. Ambassador Dennis. “The United States Government’s fine example deserves to be followed by all countries where national heritage objects are kept,” said Maiga to reporters.
The collection includes six large funerary urns dated 900CE-1700CE, a high-necked polychrome pot dated 1100CE-1400CE, a comb-impressed red slip double cup vessel dated 800CE-1500C, 913 ground & flax stones, and axe heads dating from the Neolithic period around 10,000 B.C.E. Museums in Mali will exhibit these artifacts.