Pillaging the Garden of Iraq
More than two and half years after the ransacking of the museum by a mob following the 'liberation' of Baghdad by US troops, almost 10,000 items, including some of the most precious treasures of antiquity in the world, are still missing.
Meanwhile, widespread and systematic looting of Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian architectural sites across the country has resulted in the heritage of Mesopotamia, the cradle of human civilisation, continuing to disappear.
The ferocious violence in Iraq, after President George Bush officially declared a victorious conclusion to the war, has meant that US forces and their Iraqi allies do not have the time or manpower to look for either the stolen museum pieces or to protect the sites scattered around Iraq.
International law agencies are supposedly chasing the ransacked items from the museum. But the man who was tasked by the US government with tracking down the looted artefacts claims that there was never any effective liaison and investigators had to depend on temporary, ad-hoc arrangements to carry on the pursuit of highly sophisticated gangs of smugglers.
Matthew Bogdanos, a colonel in US Marines reserves, who worked as a Manhattan prosecutor, has written of his experience while he was in charge of the mission in a book, Thieves of Baghdad. He said 'There is no co-ordination. It's based on personal relationships, and when it works, it's a surprise.'
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library