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NY court says gold tablet belongs to German museum

November 14, 2013
Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York's highest court has ruled that an ancient gold tablet belongs to the German museum that lost the Assyrian relic in World War II and not to the heirs of the Holocaust survivor who have it.

The 9.5-gram (.34-ounce) tablet, nearly the size of a credit card, was excavated a century ago by German archaeologists from the Ishtar Temple in what's now northern Iraq. It went on display in Berlin in 1934, was put in storage as the war began and later disappeared.

Riven Flamenbaum (rih-VEHN' FLAY-vehn-bowm), who died in 2003, brought it to the U.S. after surviving the Auschwitz concentration camp and settling in New York. Family lore says he got it by trading cigarettes to a Russian soldier.

The Court of Appeals on Thursday rejected the theory it was "spoils of war. "



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