BOSTON (WHDH) - An 2,700-year-old artifact has been returned to its rightful home in Iraq with help from the FBI’s Boston office.

The ivory figure, named “Furniture Fitting with Sphinx Trampling a Youth,” stands only 2 1/4 inches tall and 1 1/2 inches wid and is adorned with pigment and gold leaf.

While the item was on display at the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta, special agents in Boston and Atlanta teamed up and discovered the figure was likely stolen from a museum in Baghdad in 2003.

Investigators believe the Carlos Museum purchased the artifact from a third party in 2006 after they were provided a fake provenance claiming the artifact entered the U.S in 1969

“FBI Boston is extremely proud to have played a role in helping to recover it,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, the division’s special agent in charge. “This case represents our ongoing commitment to pursue justice for victims of art crime here and abroad and to rectify such losses to the historical record.”

In a March 8 ceremony at the Iraqi Embassy in Washington D.C., an Art Crime Team special agent delivered the artifact to the Embassy of the Republic of Iraq for repatriation. 

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