US releases 2009 Obama gift list

London, Jan 19 (ANI): Leaders from around the world gave US President Barack Obama and his family hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts in the year 2009.

Saudi King Abdullah was one of the top givers with nearly 190,000 dollars in gifts to the Obamas, reports the BBC.

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

According to the law, all these presents are supposed to go to the US National Archives.

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

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

The list of gifts given to the Obamas and White House aides was released by the US Department of State.

Brown's gifts neared the top of the list of opulent presents given by world leaders during Obama's first year in office. Obama, meanwhile, was roundly criticised in the British press for giving 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 Obama were:

From Chinese President Hu Jintao, a silk embroidery portrait of the Obama family, 20,000 dollars

From Israeli President Shimon Peres, a bronze statue of a girl releasing a flock of doves, 8,000 dollars

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 dollars

From Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, a three-foot tall carved ebony sculpture, 6,000 dollars (ANI)

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