(JNS.org) Iraq agreed to extend the American exhibition of Jewish artifacts that are controversially slated to return to the Middle Eastern country. The U.S. National Archives and the New York-based Museum of Jewish Heritage had been displaying some of the 2,700 Jewish books and ancient documents that were recovered in the basement of the Iraqi intelligence ministry (Mukhabarat) during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. The artifacts were set to return to Iraq in June. According to an agreement the U.S. signed with Iraqi authorities in 2003, the collection – known as the Iraqi Jewish Archive – is pegged to return to the Iraqi government upon the completion of its restoration and exhibition in America. But the Iraqi Jewish community says Saddam Hussein’s government confiscated the materials from a synagogue in 1984. Jewish organizations and some U.S. legislators have been lobbying to prevent the archive from returning to Iraq.