Recovered antiquities are displayed at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Iraq, Wednesday, July 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
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Iraq celebrated Wednesday the return of hundreds of historical artifacts, from an ancient Assyrian statue to a 20th century presidential tea set, which were looted, lost or loaned abroad over recent decades.The hardline Islamist militants have taken over some of the world's richest archaeological sites in northern Iraq, home to Assyrian cities dating back 2,700 years and the Graeco-Roman era desert complex of Hatra.Officials say priceless antiquities have also been stolen to help fund the militants' self-declared caliphate in Iraq and Syria.More than three months after ISIS fighters released video footage of them smashing statues and carvings at Mosul museum and the ancient sites of Hatra, Nimrud and Nineveh, Shirshab told Reuters it was hard to assess the damage.
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