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    Mongolia is ready to pay for the return of artefacts stored in British museums

    Mongolia is ready to pay for the repatriation of artifacts stored in museums around the world. Photo: Bridgman Art Library

    Mongolia is ready to pay to repatriate billions of pounds worth of artefacts after accusations from China, Russia and the West that they deprived them of their “rightful home”.

    Officials have compiled a dossier of hundreds items stored in museums and universities in 34 countries that they say should belong to the Central Asian country.

    Culture Minister Nomin Chinbat told the Telegraph that the West, China and Russia need to show Mongolia “respect” and return “priceless” items.

    Culture Minister Nomin Chinbat told The Telegraph that the West, China and Russia should return the “priceless” items

    They include Taiwan's “only” original portrait of Genghis Khan, ornate illustrations of the 13th-century Persian-Mongol statesman Rashid ad- Dean, held at the University of Edinburgh, and the Declaration of Independence of 1911, now held in the British Library. in London.

    Mongolia is the latest country to require repatriation of items. Nigeria and India are this year putting pressure on Britain to return items seized during colonial rule.

    But unlike many other countries, Ulaanbaatar is willing to pay compensation and would even prefer that some artifacts remained where they were.

    “If there is an extremely valuable artifact that we need to return to Mongolia, then of course [we will consider payment],” Ms. Chinbat said. “But we are going down different routes.”

    “We would actually prefer that some of the artifacts remain where they are, representing the history of the country and giving other people the opportunity to learn about Mongolia.”

    < img src="/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/03a39599411985b9dd694d69ade1ef42.jpg" />Mongolia wants many artifacts from around the world to be returned to its museums. Photo: CPA Media Pte Ltd/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy

    But she said the country was not prepared to pay for items that were smuggled out illegally or that were borrowed but not returned. despite treaty obligations.

    Ms Chinbat hopes the return of the artifacts could spark a tourism boom in Mongolia, which is building a new natural history museum and last year opened a museum dedicated to Genghis Khan in its capital.

    p>

    She hopes the Mongol Empire's founder's brutal reputation will attract visitors from around the world, but argues the warlord is not appreciated for the great diplomat and inventor he was.

    “People think of Genghis Khan as such a great warrior,” she explained . “However, he was a very good diplomat, and at that time he was an inventor, creating technologies and connecting countries.

    “The West and the East were connected much more easily at that time. Much technology moved between different continents.”

    Ms Chinbat's repatriation campaign received a boost in August when smuggled dinosaur fossils were returned from the United States.

    Now her officials are watching for her. There are other items in the UK, including scriptures in the British Library and another collection of around 10,000 photographs.

    China is thought to have the largest number of Mongol artefacts, followed by Russia.< /p>

    Russian officials were hostile to the idea of ​​repatriation when Mongolian officials spoke in St Petersburg two weeks ago, The Telegraph understands.

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