Browsing All Posts filed under »Iraq«

U.S. Government Declines to Disclose How It Obtained 10,000 Illegally Exported Iraqi Artifacts

August 7, 2013


The 2003 US invasion of Iraq was a disaster for the country in terms of preserving their archaeological heritage. Looters stole 15,000 artifacts from the Baghdad museum in the chaos, of which only 25% have been recovered. Authorities have recovered 130,000 artifacts stolen from other places in Iraq, but tens of thousands of pieces are […]

National Museum of Finland Refuses to Return Cuneiform Artifact to Iraq

July 16, 2013


The Art Newspaper reports — Officials at the National Museum of Finland say that they have turned down a request to return six artefacts to the Iraqi embassy in Helsinki that were donated to the institution in the 1970s. The objects, including a clay nail inscribed with cuneiform, were presented to the late Finnish president […]

United States Returns Artifacts Stolen by Contractors During Iraq Reconstruction

September 14, 2012


A 2006 investigation by the International Contract Corruption Task Force led to the seizure of priceless artifacts stolen by US Department of Defense contractors during the Iraq reconstruction efforts. In early July, the FBI finally returned the objects to Iraq. The objects were between 2,500 and 4,000 years old, and included pottery dishes, vases, small […]

Warning Issued to UK Dealers in Iraqi Antiquities

March 12, 2012


After a piece of a bronze Saddam Hussein statue came into the news last January, Whitehall (the center of Her Majesty’s Government) has published a warning to the art and antiques industry concerning the sale of war trophies. The UK ministry of culture explained, “Statutory Instrument 2003 No.1519 UNITED NATIONS The Iraq (United Nations Sanctions) […]

What do Jennifer Lopez and Saddam Hussein Have in Common?

January 26, 2012


The apparent insurability of their butts. War veteran Nigel “Spud” Ely rescued the buttock of one of the Saddam Hussein statues from being melted down for scrap metal in 2003. One of his business partners has been detained for questioning on  allegations that the buttock was illegally exported to the UK, violating the 2003 Iraq […]

FBI Returns Antiquities Stolen During US Occupation to Iraq

July 12, 2011


Efforts made by the US government to rectify the looting and pillaging of cultural property in Iraq during the American occupation appear to be paying off.   This week, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) returned a collection of objects illegally imported into the United States from Iraq.  The […]

Documentary “Blood Antiques” Argues Illicit Antiquities Trade Sends Billions of Euros to Terrorism

November 15, 2010


This weekend, I watched the documentary “Blood Antiques,” released last year by Journeyman Pictures.  If you are at all interested in the illicit antiquities trade (and especially if you are interested in the organization of that trade), you should watch this 45 minute movie.  It argues that because antiquities tend to come from “unstable countries,” […]

Does the Illicit Antiquities Trade Fund Terrorism?

October 26, 2010


For years now, we’ve been hearing that the illicit antiquities trade supports terrorism, but the evidence of that is scant.  It’s just not the sort of thing that’s easy to pin down with documentation like well-kept ledgers. However, Wikileaks has posted the following, which tends to show a connection between the illicit antiquities trade and […]

U.S. Repatriates Ancient Artifacts to Iraq

March 1, 2010


In a ceremony at the Iraqi embassy in D.C., the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) returned six items to the Iraqi ambassador to the United States.  Most of those items were ancient artifacts, which Ethiopian News listed as follows: Neo-Assyrian gold earrings, ca. 8th-7th Century B.C., from a mass of gold jewelry known as […]

The Looting of the Iraq Museum: An Evening with Dr. Donny George Youkhanna

February 23, 2010


If I were on the eastern seaboard, I would totally head to NYC for this event tomorrow. On the evening of Wednesday, February 24, 2010, the former Director General of the Iraq National Museum in Baghdad, Dr. Youkhanna, will give a lecture at the American Museum of Natural History on the current conditions of cultural […]