The US authorities said 75 stolen Yemeni artifacts were seized during an attempt to smuggle them to the US.
This coincides with the Yemeni government’s call for Arab backup to preserve the Yemeni heritage and restore stolen artifacts.
Ambassador of Yemen to the United States Mohammed Al-Hadhrami commended the efforts of the US Department of State and relevant authorities to activate the decision to protect the Yemeni heritage and ban the trafficking and smuggling of Yemeni antiquities.
During his meeting with Assistant Secretary of State Lee Satterfield, he said that the Yemeni government appreciates the US security bodies’ efforts that led to seizing the antiquities.
This contributes to raising awareness, protecting the Yemeni heritage, and combatting the smuggling and trafficking of Yemeni antiquities in the future, according to Hadhrami.
Saba news agency cited Hadhrami as saying that the Yemeni side looks forward to more coordination in this regard in addition to benefiting from the support programs offered by Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
The AFCP supports the preservation of archaeological sites, historic buildings and monuments, museum collections, and forms of traditional cultural expression.
For her part, Satterfield welcomed the rapid and serious responsiveness of the Yemeni government, hailing the ongoing coordination, especially intensifying efforts to combat Yemeni antiquities smuggling and trafficking to the US.
She affirmed the US continuous support to Yemen, namely in protecting its heritage, as well as the educational programs and scholarships available for developing countries.
Meanwhile, Yemeni Information Minister Moammer al-Eryani called on his Arab counterparts, the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization, and similar organizations to reinforce coordination in the protection of cultural heritage in Yemen.
The call was made at the 23rd Conference of Arab Culture Ministers held in Riyadh represented by the Saudi Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Arab League Educational, Cultural, and Scientific Organization.
The Yemeni minister wondered how the future of the nation will be if tens of thousands of youths, if not hundreds or even millions, are deprived of education and getting recruited by extremist terrorist groups.
Eryani highlighted the terrorist Houthi practices, including destroying and looting the Yemeni cultural heritage intentionally and systematically.
In the past eight years, Yemen has undergone the biggest and most hideous deception in its modern and recent history by a terrorist group, the minister noted. He described this group as an “obeying tool” for the Iranian regime.
Eryani accused the Houthis of taking heritage sites and museums as military sites and weaponry warehouses.