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Returning Treasures

THE MAIL

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The Crimson:

Harvard's Semitic Museum deserves congratulations for its decision to return to Iraq the collection of cuneiform tablets excavated from the ancient city of Nuzi.

In many foreign countries, American museum and universities are viewed as plunderers of native treasures. Archeologists all too often promise to return those artifacts they excavate only to ignore their pledges once the objects are safely within U.S. borders.

During my 1975 visit to Iraq I returned the first of these priceless tablets, and I know how important the completion of that return is to the people of that country. The voluntary action by Harvard this week in sending back the rest of these 3500-year-old records is an important contribution to international goodwill and will return handsome dividends when American archeologists seek permission to borrow and study the relics of other nations around the world. Edward M. Kennedy '54

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