The Libyan Foreign Ministry said it had handed over a piece of antiquity returned from New York, United States, thanking US authorities for its special cooperation with Libya’s embassy in Washington DC to return the marble bust to Libya.

The artifact was smuggled to the US and their attempts to sell it in an auction in New York before being confiscated by US authorities.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry said it was looking forward to coordinating more with the US in efforts to thwart smuggling and protect cultural and human civilization antiquities.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced on Wednesday the return of two antiquities collectively valued at more than $500,000 to the people of Libya. The artifacts, “Veiled Head of a Lady” and “Bust of a Bearded Man,” were both looted from the ancient city of Cyrene (Shahat), which faced rampant looting in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s shortly before the appearance of the pieces on the international art market

The antiquities were returned during a repatriation ceremony attended by the Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Libya in Washington DC, Khalid Daief, and US officials.