WASHINGTON (RNS) — In 2013, Cornell University agreed to forfeit 10,000 cuneiform tablets amid suspicions they were looted from Iraq in the aftermath of the 1991 Gulf War.
Four years later, the items remain in the university’s hands. And it is one of many collections of ancient artifacts that have come under scrutiny in America.
Just last week, New York prosecutors seized a 2,300-year-old Greek vase from the Metropolitan Museum that they suspect was looted. For years, museums and institutions, from Yale University to Chicago’s Field Museum to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, have contained items of questionable provenance