Only five pieces including four decorative relics (two stone objects and two glass ones) and one small animal replica belonging to pre-Islamic period were identified as original.
Nokandeh added that the rest of the objects, which were mostly metal, were found to be not original.
The legal pursuits to restore the identified cultural and historical monuments of Iran in various countries accelerated during the last eight years so that from 2014 to 2017, 887 historical items were returned to Iran, Nokandeh added.
In early April 2021, Iran’s Embassy in Austria announced that a total of 28 Iranian relics, which had been smuggled abroad decades ago, were finally returned home. Last Iranian year (ended March 20, 2021), the objects were recovered and surrendered to a representative of Iran in Vienna.
Last July, the antiquities were handed over to Iran’s representative in Austria after a series of legal investigations and as the result of judicial assistance between the two countries and in cooperation with Interpol departments in the two countries.
In May 2019, Iran’s Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts called for the return of relics, which were discovered from a safety-deposit box of a bank in Austria months earlier.