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USA hands over to Ukraine cultural heritage items seized during attempt to smuggle them from Russia

KYIV. March 10 (Interfax-Ukraine) – The Ukrainian Embassy in Washington hosted the transfer to Ukraine of historical heritage items seized while trying to smuggle them from Russia to the United States, Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko has said.

“Today, the Embassy of Ukraine in the United States hosted an official ceremony of handing over to Ukraine objects of historical heritage that were detained by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection while trying to smuggle from Russia to the United States,” he said on his Telegram channel on Friday.

Among the transferred values are “akinaki swords of the Scythian cultureof the 6th-5th centuries B.C. (the distribution area is the forest-steppe, steppe part of Ukraine and the Autonomous Republic of Crimea) and a flint polished axe of the 3rd millennium B.C., which, according to the Institute of Archeology Ukraine belongs to the Globular Amphora Culture,” Tkachenko said.

The minister expressed his gratitude to the law enforcement agencies of the United States and Ukraine and all those involved who carried out such an operation.

“We will return everything that Russia has stolen from us – territories, people, objects of art and cultural heritage. We are starting now,” the minister said.