In London an attempt of illicit import of unique artefacts from Samarkand was prevented

In London an attempt of illicit import of unique artefacts from Samarkand was prevented

In the capital of Great Britain the attempt of illicit import of unique artefacts from Samarkand was stopped, as informs the Uzbek mass-media. These are six glazed tiles from a medieval memorial complex from the suburb of Samarkand, brought to the London Heathrow airport in a suitcase.

The person, who has imported them illegally from Dubai, had forged documents, declaring artefacts « exact, made old copies». As proof he showed the receipt in which it was confirmed that tiles had been bought the day before in Sharjah, approximately for 70 pounds sterling.

Frontier services of Great Britain have contacted the museum to establish an origin of tiles. It is usual practice when there is a suspicion on contraband of subjects of olden time.

The senior curator of the department of the Near East of the British museum Saint John Simpson made it clear. He applied for the help to ten experts from the countries of the Near East and Central Asia, and also the USA and Russia, and found out that tiles with glazes are «exact made old copies», but original and "amazing" artefacts.

«Actually, they cost some ten thousand pounds and have cultural value for the country of their origin, Uzbekistan», - he underlined.

Manufacturing of tiles is dated to the end of XIII - middle of XIV centuries. Historians believe that they belong to the period of the basis of Chagatai khanate under Genghis Khan Chagatai-khan's second son.

«In this case there was really fantastic good luck to involve in searches of true such wide range of experts, and in very short terms, despite the global pandemic», - Simpson told.

The Uzbek experts have confirmed that tiles - from a memorial complex the Shah-i-zinda near to Samarkand. As they said, excavation and restoration works were held in 1996 and in the beginning of 2000, and a number of glazed artefacts discovered in time till now are not considered. Tiles have three colours of glaze - white, turquoise and dark blue cobalt - and ach of them has got inscriptions from the Koran. Ancient artefacts before returning to Samarkand are planned for exposing in London.

Nury Amanov