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Victors of War Go the Spoils Angers Chaldeans
By Rita Abro :: Thursday, December 4, 2008 :: 82585 Views :: Sports, Art, and Entertainment, Law & Order, Business & Finance, Government & Society

 

New York, USA – Chaldeans and Assyrians in American are appalled at Christie’s Auction House of New York.  “They are war profiteers moving the spoils of war,” says Chaldean art collector Enas Namoo from his downtown Chicago office.  The Chaldean art collector, well known for his Mediterranean art collection, was furious for what he saw in the catalog of the ancient art and antiquities auction at Christie's next week.  Among the collection was a pair of neo-Assyrian earrings established as artifacts of Mesopotamia.  “This belongs in the museum, not on an auction block,” said a angered Namoo.  

 

Along with Namoo, Iraqi authorities have also appealed to have the pair of neo-Assyrian earrings returned.  The 9,000–10,000-year-old earrings are expected to bring in up to $65,000, but Iraqi officials say they are part of the treasures of Nimrud and thus rightfully the property of Iraq.

Chaldean archeologist, art curator, antiquity expert, and former director of the Iraq Museum Donny George says, “I am 100 percent sure they are from the same tombs from Nimrud. I witnessed the excavation."

The treasures of Nimrud were discovered by Iraqi archaeologist Muzahem Hussein after a 19th-century British excavation of Nimrud, the ancient capital of the Assyrian Empire, missed the royal tombs.

Eight pairs of seemingly identical gold earrings were unearthed there, along with hundreds of bowls, ceremonial objects, and other gold jewelry. The finds were placed in bank vaults and displayed only once at the Iraq Museum before Saddam Hussein was ousted.

After the fall of Baghdad in 2003, U.S. investigators and Iraqi officials tracked down the treasures of Nimrud in a vault within a vault in the basement of Iraq's destroyed central bank.

“They know they will be challenged on this.  That is why they try to say the earrings were owned prior to the war,” says Namoo. 

Christie's listing for the pair of earrings on offer says they were acquired from their previous owner before 1969. The auction house's Web site refers potential buyers to a German archaeological text "for a similar pair from a royal tomb at Nimrud."

www.CHALDEAN.org has placed numerous calls and e-mails to the auction house asking for documentation, proof of ownership, or official certificates of rights to resell for antiquities, in the hopes that a confirmation can be made that the earrings were not part of a war booty.   All requests have gone unanswered at the time of this report.   

Sacred Heart Parish, MI USA

 

Sacred Heart Parish
310 W. Seven Mile. Rd.
Detroit, MI 48203
Tel: (313) 368-6214
Fax: (313) 891-0132

The parish was established by Rev. Jacob Yasso in 1973

Rev. Jacob Yasso

Rev. Jacob Yasso was born in the village of Telkaif, Iraq.  After completing high school he was recruited to Rome and Urbaniana University where he completed his Masters Degree in philosophy and Theology.  Fr. Yasso was ordained a priest in 1960 and served the Diocese of Mosul, where he worked in the public school system. Fr. Yasso was also asked by the Patriarch to teach at the Patriarchal Seminary in Baghdad, where he served as administrator, professor of philosophy and religious life, and rector of the minor seminary. 

In 1964, Fr. Yasso was appointed to the United States to serve the growing Chaldean community in Detroit.  There he served as the 4th Pastor of Mother of God Parish.  .  In 1972, the Patriarch charged Fr. Yasso with building a new parish for the Chaldeans in Detroit.  In taking great pains to care for the community Fr. Yasso accelerated the development of a new church and community center.  In 1975, Fr. Yasso completed the development of Sacred Heart Parish in Detroit and shortly thereafter he added the Chaldean Center of America in 1980, 

A few years later in 1982, Fr. Yasso was asked to assist the late Fr. Kattoula at St. Peter’s Church in San Diego, CA.  Before long, Fr. Yasso was once again recruited to Rome to study new Canon Law of the Church.  While in Rome Fr. Yasso completed his third Masters Degree in Church Law, making him the only Chaldean priest trained in Canon Law. 

In 1988, the Patriarch and Vatican authorities asked Fr. Yasso to travel to Canada and establish a parish and community center.  While there he served as a Tribunal Judge for the Archdiocese of Toronto.  Four years later Fr. Yasso returned to Sacred Heart church in Detroit to help care for the remaining Chaldean community residence in the Detroit area.  To this day, Fr. Yasso continues to serve as the parish pastor creating activities and advising the City of Detroit on community related matters. 

Fr. Yasso is a member of the International WYCLIF Bible translators, since 1975, and has completed the translation of the New Testament from Greek and Aramaic into Arabic and spoken Chaldean.   The publication of his scholarly work is set to be released soon.