After Iran filed a suit against a French woman for illegally taking antiques from the Khurvin region of Iran to Belgium, a Liege court has ruled in favour of Iran and confirmed Iran’s ownership of the items.

ISNA reports that the suit, which was filed about 35 years ago, will finally mean that the collection of ancient artifacts removed from the country illegally can now be returned. The news has been confirmed by Iran’s Centre for International Affairs.

The report indicates that the suit involved more than 300 items unearthed in the Khurvin region of the country dating back to 2000 BCE.

The artifacts were removed from Iran in 1966 by a French woman named Wolfcarius through an unnamed Belgian diplomat. Ms. Wolfcarius reportedly had Iranian citizenship through marriage to an Iranian named in the file as Professor Maleki.

In 1982, upon finding out that the items were on exhibit in a museum in Ghent, Belgium, the Iranian government filed suit to get them back.

The suit was challenged by Ms. Wolfcarius, who has since passed away, and her estate is still party to the suit.

She reportedly claimed that the items were found during an official dig and bought from local citizens. However, Iranian authorities state that all historic items have to be declared to the government and no individual Iranian citizen can own or sell them.

The Liege court has acknowledged the Iranian government’s legal right to all the artifacts and issued an order to return them to Iran.