Iraqi Minister of Tourism Lava al-Samism lashed out at the U.S. for illegal export from Iraq and storage of tens of thousands of exhibits.
"The United States illegally and unlawfully hold up to 90,000 pieces of archaeological artifacts from Iraq and Washington refrained from their return to Iraq," — said al-Samism.
He noted that his country is committed to ensuring that it has stolen artifacts were recovered.
Al-Samism said that only the Baghdad Museum in 2003, 15,000 artifacts were stolen.
Thousands of artifacts were stolen from Iraqi museums and locations of archaeological sites during the American invasion of the country in 2003. Approximately 15,000 artifacts were smuggled out of Iraq in the chaotic post-war years.
Jordan and Syria have returned to Iraq in 2466 and 700 pieces respectively, while Iraq is still working with Interpol to track the fate of the missing are still thousands of archaeological objects.
While Western collectors are reportedly involved in trafficking stolen Iraqi artifacts, the director of Iraq's National Museum, Donny George called Johanna collectors do not buy such exhibits.
In 2008, the New York auction of 5,000-year-old Iraqi stone statue was sold for $ 57 million.