(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Fancy dinner plates belonging to the Iraqi royal family and Saddam Hussein before being stolen and sold to a New York restaurant are finally being returned, officials said Wednesday. Preet Bharara, chief federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, announced the return of the stolen china once adorning the tables of the late Saddam Hussein and the family of assassinated king Faisal II, some of them bearing the Iraqi seal.
The plates were "illegally imported into the United States in violation of United States law and subsequently sold on eBay. The Iraqi plates, which were purchased by Creative Time, an art group in Manhattan, were being used by a Manhattan restaurant," Bharara's office said in a statement.
They were returned to the Iraqi mission at the United Nations. Creative Time voluntarily gave up the dinner and salad plates after learning of their illegal status, prosecutors said. Park Avenue Autumn had been offering diners a dish called "Spoils" featuring Saddam Hussein's blue-rimmed plates and the red-rimmed royal versions.
"I wanted to explore the tension between the diner's tongue, the delicious and sweet meal, and the bitter surface upon which it is presented," artist Michael Rakowitz, who came up with the concept, told The Atlantic Wire in an article this October.