Incantation bowls returned to collector after being subject of a recent independent inquiry

The objects have been on loan to UCL since 1995

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London

University College London (UCL) has returned 654 Middle Eastern incantation bowls to the Schøyen Collection (London/Oslo). The antiquities, which could have originated in Iraq, had been on loan to UCL since 1995 and had been the subject of an independent inquiry. In a joint statement on 26 June, the college and the collection said: “UCL is pleased to announce that no claims adverse to the Schøyen Collection’s right and title have been made or intimated. Having made all the enquiries that it reasonably could, UCL has no basis for concluding that the title is vested other than in the Schøyen Collection. UCL has now returned the bowls to the Schøyen Collection and has agreed to pay a sum in respect of its possession of them.” Lord Renfrew, a member of the inquiry team which investigated the bowls, told us that their full report had apparently not been submitted to the Iraqi authorities, “which is most regrettable”.

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