British Museum helps return stolen artefact to Uzbekistan; Dalya Alberge; The Guardian


Uzbekistan – Historic Centre of Bukhara

Museum contacted after large 13th-century glazed tile taken from monument in 2014 turned up for sale in Mayfair gallery.

The British Museum has helped to recover an important medieval Islamic artefact that surfaced in a London gallery after it was stolen from a monument in Uzbekistan.

The enormous calligraphic glazed tile – half a metre in height – had disappeared in 2014. Thieves left a gaping hole after they removed it from the magnificent entrance facade of a 12th-century monument, just over 12 miles (20km) from Bukhara, the Unesco world heritage site on the ancient Silk Road route.

Part of a high-relief turquoise glazed inscription, the tile was thought to have been lost forever until it surfaced in a Mayfair gallery, where it was being offered for sale.

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