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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

US recovers stolen antique chess set once owned by Saddam Hussein

The US embassy in Baghdad gave the artefact back to the Iraqi government

The chess set was once owned by dictator Saddam Hussein. Facebook
The chess set was once owned by dictator Saddam Hussein. Facebook

The United States has returned an antique chess set, once owned by dictator Saddam Hussein to the Iraqi government in Baghdad.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said the artefact had been stolen in 2003 during the invasion of Iraq by US-led forces that toppled Mr Hussein.

Announcing the news on social media, the US embassy in Baghdad said the chess set had been returned on Saturday.

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“A stolen Iraqi artifact was returned to the Government of Iraq! Yesterday the U.S. Embassy met with the Deputy Minister of Culture for Antiquities & Heritage Affairs Qais Rasheed to return an antique chess set, owned by Saddam Hussein, stolen in 2003 and recovered by the FBI,” read the statement on the embassy’s website.

“The U.S. is committed to helping return stolen Iraqi artefacts.”

It shared numerous pictures of the chess set but did not give further details as to who it had been stolen by or where it had been recovered.

Mr Hussein was captured in December 2003, nine months after the US toppled his Ba'athist regime. He was executed in December 2006, having been convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal.