US & Canada

List of 2009 Obama gifts revealed by state department

President Barack Obama, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
Image caption Many of the gifts were given at international summits like the G20 in London in February 2009

President Barack Obama and his family received hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from world leaders in 2009, the US has revealed.

Among the top givers was Saudi King Abdullah, with nearly $190,000 (£119,000) in gifts to the Obamas.

Ex-UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown gave Mr Obama a pen and holder carved from an anti-slavery ship and biographies of Winston Churchill, worth $16,510.

By law, all the presents must go to the US National Archives.

Queen Elizabeth II gave the Obamas a framed photograph of herself and Prince Philip valued at $775.

Italian leader Silvio Berlusconi gave Mr Obama a crystal table, gold watch and glass ornaments worth $26,845.

The list of gifts given to Mr Obama and his family and White House aides was released on Tuesday by the US Department of State.

Mr Brown's gifts neared the top of the list of opulent presents given by world leaders during Mr Obama's first year in office. Mr Obama, meanwhile, was roundly criticised in the British press for giving Mr Brown a box set of 25 DVDs of American films, interpreted as a snub to the UK leader.

Among the more costly gifts given to Mr Obama were:

  • From Chinese President Hu Jintao, a silk embroidery portrait of the Obama family, $20,000
  • From Israeli President Shimon Peres, a bronze statue of a girl releasing a flock of doves, $8,000
  • From Pope Benedict XVI, a mosaic depicting St Peter's Square in Rome, a silver key chain, a gold coin and books on himself and about "bioethical questions", $7,905
  • From Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, a three-foot tall carved ebony sculpture, $6,000

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