From Mathaba News Agency:

A piece of antiquity stolen from the archaeological sites in Shahat was retrieved after it was sought out, and its whereabouts was located with the follow up effort of Seif Al Islam Qadhafi, Chairman of the Qadhafi Foundation of Charitable Associations.

The antiquity treasure was handed over to the Libya reprsentative in UNESCO in Paris yesterday.

It was stolen from antiquities storage house in Shahat, in Gabal Al Akhdar region in eastern Libya in 1999. The piece namely a Roman marble board with an engravement of the Greek deity Hurmuz reigning four horses.

The was located after it was stolen during an auction of artifacts held recently in Athens Hall in Paris.

The director of the Board of Antiquities told that Seif Al Islam had stressed, at a meeting with an elite of world archaeologists of those specializing in Shahat archeology, the need for them to cooperate with the competent Libyan bodies to retrieve stolen antiquities in line with the UN conventions on the protection of cultural properties, and in line with the Leader's urging of international organizations particularly the UNESCO Organization to protect such properties and seek to retrieve what had been stolen.

The director of the Board of Antiquities said the piece was found in Shahat during excavating work in 1973 and disappeared in 1999.

Search led to the piece being in the possession of Athens Hall Auction House owned by an American with branches in London and New York.

It was disclosed that the piece was acquired by the Hall in June from a antiquities trader in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Qadhafi Foundation made the necessary arrangements following ascertaining of the identity of the piece to be returned to Libya vis avis UNESCO.

The retrieval ceremony was attended by a representative from Europe Department at the Foreign Liaison Bureau, representatives of World Heritage Center and the director of UNESCO and the President of the Libyan French Friendship Society, archaeologist Andre Laronde.