Photo 14:29 12 Mar 2023

US returns to Ukraine cultural artifacts looted by russian occupiers

Photo: Embassy of Ukraine in the USA

Objects of historical and cultural heritage, which the russian invaders stole from the temporarily occupied territories and tried to import into the United States illegally, were officially returned to Ukraine.

US Customs and Border Protection and the Embassy of Ukraine in the USA inform about this.

American border guards report that the invaders tried to take out a stone axe head, Scythian swords, and a Polovtsian saber.

The Embassy of Ukraine in the USA informed that on March 10, an official ceremony was held to hand over items of Ukrainian historical heritage to the Ukrainian side.

"On September 2, 2022, US Customs and Border Protection officers seized a stone axe head and three metal swords on September 2, 2022, at the John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) international facility," the customs officials wrote in the statement.

Photo: Embassy of Ukraine in the USA

Custom officials say the swords came from the russian federation, and the stone ax came from Ukraine. The items were identified as Ukrainian cultural property.

Photo: Embassy of Ukraine in the USA

"US Customs and Border Protection is extremely proud to have played an important role in seizing these artifacts that were stolen from the people of Ukraine," said Francis J. Russo, Director of New York Field Operations.

During the return ceremony, Ukrainian Ambassador Oksana Markarova reminded that the russian invaders purposefully steal and take away historical and cultural artifacts from Ukraine, trying to deprive Ukraine of its identity.

Photo: Embassy of Ukraine in the USA

For reference:

It is reported that between July and September 2022, law enforcement officers from the investigative division of the US Department of Homeland Security in New York and Newark, New Jersey, detained several shipments of archaeological items.

The cargo arrived in the United States from the territory of russia without proper documentary support.

About 20 shipments of archaeological objects were detained in the United States, sent from the russian federation, and temporarily occupied Ukrainian territories.

The law enforcement officers suspected the archaeological objects might have belonged to Ukraine. The conducted examinations confirmed these assumptions.

The American side also turned to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, that finally confirmed that the artifacts were of Ukrainian origin.

Among the stolen artifacts, there were:

  • Akinaki swords of the Scythian culture VI-V century BC (distribution area – forest-steppe, steppe part of Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea);
  • A polished flint ax of the 3rd millennium BC, which, according to the Institute of Archeology of Ukraine, belongs to the spherical amphora culture (distribution area – the north-western part of Ukraine);
  • Polovtsian sabers from the Old Kyivan Rus state of the 11th-12th centuries and many other artifacts.

The return of archaeological objects, which were tried to be illegally imported into the United States from russia, became possible due to the cooperation of Ukrainian diplomats in the United States.

It should be noted that earlier, the russian invaders seized the museum with Scythian gold in Melitopol. Also, the aggressors took away from Mariupol the original paintings of outstanding artists and stole the medallion art collection of Yukhim Harabet.

In addition, the occupiers also looted the Kherson Museum of Local Lore: numerous historical artifacts were transported to occupied Henichesk.

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Spelling error report

The following text will be sent to our editors: