Senator Chuck Schumer...request rebuffed
In an email to the Jewish Week, a spokesman has said the US State Department is committed to returning the Jewish archive to Iraq. The US government response comes as a rebuff to Senator Chuck Schumer, the first politician to take up the cause.
The State Department has rebuffed the request of
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) not to return to Iraq the treasure trove of
Jewish artifacts found by American troops in Baghdad in 2003. Schumer
said the items were “stolen” from the Iraqi Jewish community.
Under an agreement with the Bush administration at the time, the more
than 2,700 artifacts – including partial Torah parchments and ancient
prayer books –were to be returned to Iraq in 2014 after being restored
and preserved by the National Archives in Washington.
In response to Schumer’s letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, a
State Department spokesman, Pooja Jhunjhunwala, told The Jewish Week in
an e-mail that the Department would abide by its August 2003 agreement
“We are committed to returning the material to Iraq following the
completion of the preservation project and the exhibition of the
material in the United States,” he wrote. “Much of the project has now
been completed by the National Archives and Record Administration
(NARA), and NARA has announced that the material is being readied for
exhibition in Washington at the National Archives.”
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Sen Schumer tries to block archive return
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