Iraq's ancient artefacts still missing
Dr Lamia Al-Gailani-Werr, an Iraqi archaeologist and member of the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and former adviser to the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council, says the destruction of Iraq's heritage is leaving a bitter legacy for future generations.
Currently living in England, al-Gailani-Werr returned to Iraq as a consultant immediately after the museum was looted.
Aljazeera.net: How would you describe the current state of Iraq's antiquities?
Al-Gailani-Werr: Dismal. There isn't one pressing issue, but many. The museum is sealed off because of the security situation and it is very difficult to get to the objects inside.
It is necessary to have an inventory of the antiquities in the museum, to know exactly what has been stolen. Without such an inventory, anyone can steal more and attribute it to the day when the museum was looted in April 2003.
The archaeological sites particularly in the south are still systematically being looted.
I cannot picture the enormity of the loss to the heritage of Iraq.
What must be done to recover the country's historical wealth?
If you mean the looted antiquities from the Iraqi Museum, it will take years and maybe never. For instance, 5000 objects were looted from the museums in the south after the 1991 uprising [after Iraq's defeat and ousting from Kuwait]. Only a handful has been recovered.
How many pieces were looted after 2003?
Until there is precise inventory we cannot say how many objects have been looted. But it is estimated at around 15,000 pieces.
comments powered by Disqus
- Revised AP U.S. History Standards Will Emphasize American Exceptionalism
- In a county that tried to amend U.S. history course, a lesson in politics
- Overhauling La Guardia, an Airport With a Historical Name but a Tarnished Image
- Now it can be told: The weakening of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is the crowning achievement of GOP partisans who detested the law
- Japanese textbooks may sanitize history, but comic art books don't
- Historians Against the War gathering signatures for new resolution to AHA on alleged violations of academic freedom in Israel
- Academic Seeks Death Certificate for Outlaw Billy the Kid
- Murderer of historian of Czech Jewry goes on trial
- Election results are in for the American Historical Association
- Nial Ferguson warns Obama’s bet on Iran has low odds of success