|Statue held in BM|
An ancient Greek sculpture - which experts believe dates to the third or fourth centuries BC - that was smuggled to Britain from war-torn Libya in 2011 is to be returned after a judge ruled in Westminster Magistrates' Court in London that it had been "unlawfully excavated". It was dug up in the ancient Greek colony of Cyrene and is believed to be worth on the antiquities market £1.5 million.
It was discovered in a west London warehouse by customs officials two years later and handed to the British Museum pending a court's decision over its ownership. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs HMRC said the statue was "misdeclared" on arrival to the UK after UK border officials were told it was from Turkey and worth $110,000 (£72,000). But Jordanian national Riad Al Qassas claimed the sculpture [...] belonged to him. District Judge John Zani today ruled that the sculpture was owned by "the state of Libya" and should be forfeited, as HMRC said it would take steps to return the statue to its "rightful owners". [...] Judge Zani said claims by Hassan Fazeli, a Dubai businessman who said the sculpture has belonged to his family collection since 1977, were also "false". [...] Al Qassas was not in court for the ruling, nor was he represented by lawyers, where he was ordered to pay £50,000 costs.Source:
'Ancient Greek relic looted from Libya to be returned' Telegraph, 01 Sep 2015