The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
California man charged with smuggling mosaic from Syria Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

California man charged with smuggling mosaic from Syria

The war in Syria has destroyed many of its ancient mosaics [Getty]

Date of publication: 26 July, 2020

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
The mosaic, seized by FBI investigators at his Palmdale house in 2016, depicts Hercules and dates back to the Roman Empire.
A Southern California man has been charged with smuggling an ancient mosaic that authorities believe was looted from war-torn Syria and falsely underestimating its value to avoid import duties.

Mohamad Yassin Alcharihi, 53, claimed in paperwork the 18-foot-long mosaic was part of a shipment worth only about $2,200, according to a federal indictment announced Friday.

However, an expert retained by the government believes the artwork was worth more than that.

The mosaic, seized by FBI investigators at his Palmdale house in 2016, depicts Hercules and dates back to the Roman Empire.

Experts believe the mosaic was similar to others found in and around the city of Idlib, Syria.

Read also: US places import restrictions to protect Syrian artefacts

Alcharihi has been locked in a legal dispute with federal authorities to reclaim the seized mosaic.

An email message to his attorneys in the forfeiture case has not been returned.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to stay connected

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More