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Britain has kept Stone Age statues, says Jordanian Rights Centre

The head of the Mesha Centre for Studies and Human Rights in Jordan has revealed that Britain has still not returned thirty Stone Age statues that were taken for restoration in 1990. According to Daifallah Hdeithat, the statues were supposed to be returned to Jordan within two years.

Britain has kept Stone Age statues, says Jordanian Rights Centre
Ain Ghazal Statues are a number of monumental lime plaster and reed statues discovered
at the site of Ayn Ghazal in Jordan [Credit: WikiCommons]

"The terms of the restoration agreement provided for Jordan to pay $300,000 to Britain for this to be done," explained Hdeithat. "This was paid." He added that the British Museum was to be given two statues as part of the deal.

These monuments date back to the Stone Age and were discovered in 1982 in the Ain Ghazal area in Amman, said Hdeithat. "They are symbols of how advanced society was in the area at that time."

The Centre official described the Jordanian government's efforts to have the statues returned as "timid" and out of date. "The artefacts may become the property of the British government in the coming days unless there is a national effort to put pressure on the Jordanian government to take real steps to reclaim the statues."

Hdeithat accused the Jordanian government of "neglecting" such antiquities. "Especially those which were smuggled overseas." He referred to the Mesha Stele in the Louvre Museum in Paris, as well as another Stone Age statue.

Since 2016, Hdeithat has been overseeing the Jordanian campaign to recover the Mesha Stele, which was taken by France in 1867.

Source: Middle East Monitor [March 31, 2021]

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