Artefacts that were stolen from the National Museum of Iraq and archaeological sites during the chaos following the U.S. occupation in 2003 have been returned by Germany.

Reportedly, 45 items were returned among thousands stolen relics, which were seized by the German police at a public auction. They were returned to the Iraqi officials at a ceremony in Berlin on Monday.

Among the pieces recovered were a 4,500 year old golden vase, a bronze axe head, an Assyrian grey coloured stone, a goddess Basusu statue, clay tablets bearing cuneiform script, a metal amulet and other artefacts.

German law states that items stolen from Iraq after 1990 must be handed over to the country.

"This means that the German government has the right to confiscate them and that is what we have done, and given them back to Iraq," Reuters quoted Alexander Schonfelder, deputy head of the German diplomatic mission in Iraq, as saying.

Iraq is considered rich in history with around 12,000 archaeological sites and has housed several civilizations in five centuries. The Iraqi government is in a quest to find the lost heritage tokens.

"The German Foreign Minister handed over these pieces to the Iraqi ambassador in Berlin in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani" Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq's Foreign Minister, said at a news conference, AK News reported.

Check out the pictures of the relics below:

An Afghan specialist displays an ancient pre-Islamic sculpture that was returned to Afghanistan at the Afghan National Museum in Kabul January 30, 2012. Germany this week returned the sculpture looted during Afghanistan's civil war, giving hope to Kabul's cultural mavens that the rest of its stolen treasures will also make their way home. Picture taken January 30, 2012.Reuters
An employee displays a recovered tiny gold jar, dating to 4,500 BC at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Baghdad January 30, 2012. A 6,500-year-old Sumerian gold jar, the head of a Sumerian battle axe and a stone from an Assyrian palace were among 45 relics returned to Iraq by Germany on Monday. The items were among thousands stolen from Iraq's museums and archaeological sites in the mayhem that followed the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003. REUTERSReuters
An employee displays clay tablets belong to the Sumerian era at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Baghdad January 30, 2012. A 6,500-year-old Sumerian gold jar, the head of a Sumerian battle axe and a stone from an Assyrian palace were among 45 relics returned to Iraq by Germany on Monday. The items were among thousands stolen from Iraq's museums and archaeological sites in the mayhem that followed the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.Reuters
An employee displays a recovered amulet belongs to the Babylonian era at the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs headquarters in Baghdad January 30, 2012. A 6,500-year-old Sumerian gold jar, the head of a Sumerian battle axe and a stone from an Assyrian palace were among 45 relics returned to Iraq by Germany on Monday. The items were among thousands stolen from Iraq's museums and archaeological sites in the mayhem that followed the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003Reuters
An employee displays recovered artefacts at the Iraqi Ministry of foreign Affairs headquarters in Baghdad January 30, 2012. A 6,500-year-old Sumerian gold jar, the head of a Sumerian battle axe and a stone from an Assyrian palace were among 45 relics returned to Iraq by Germany on Monday. The items were among thousands stolen from Iraq's museums and archaeological sites in the mayhem that followed the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.Reuters
An employee checks recovered artefacts at the Iraqi Ministry of foreign Affairs headquarters in Baghdad January 30, 2012. A 6,500-year-old Sumerian gold jar, the head of a Sumerian battle axe and a stone from an Assyrian palace were among 45 relics returned to Iraq by Germany on Monday. The items were among thousands stolen from Iraq's museums and archaeological sites in the mayhem that followed the U.S.-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein in 2003.Reuters