Authorities in France have returned 486 artefacts which had been stolen from Pakistan back to Islamabad, according to the Foreign Office (FO) on Tuesday.
Some 512 artefacts which were smuggled from Pakistan were seized by customs at the Paris airport back in 2006 and2007.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi took notice of the issue and instructed his ministry and its missions in different countries to engage with host governments for their repatriation to Pakistan.
“After verification of their origin and completion of formalities, 486 archaeological artefacts were handed over by the French government to the Embassy of Pakistan in Paris on July 2,” the statement reads.
Rodolphe Gintz, director general of customs and indirect rights of the french ministry of action and public accounts handed over the rare and precious artifacts to Pakistani embassy in France.
“The artefacts were returned in a ceremony attended by French officials from concerned ministries and representatives from several French cultural and archaeological institutes and museums, as well as French print and electronic media,” the communique further reads.
Pakistan’s Deputy Head of Mission Muhammad Amjad Aziz Qazi thanked Paris for their support and cooperation in completing the formalities to hand over the artefacts.
While the Director General of the French Customs Rodolphe Gintz also expressed his satisfaction over the successful closure of nearly twelve years old case.