Sunday, 19 September 2010

'Missing' Iraqi Artifacts Found in Storeroom,


I discussed this worrying story the week before last, and again the other day, now the mystery appears to have been cleared up (Iraqi Artifacts Are Found in Storeroom, New York Times Sept 19th 2010). It's a typical case of one government department not talking to another it seems.
More than 600 ancient artifacts looted and smuggled out of Iraq, found and returned by the United States, and then lost again for nearly two years were rediscovered in a storeroom of the office of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki on Sunday, an Iraqi official said. The artifacts — including bronze figurines, glass and clay vessels, and beaded necklaces from the world’s earliest civilizations — had disappeared into a bureaucratic fog after an American military aircraft returned them in 2008. Their disappearance came to light on Sept. 6 when Iraq celebrated the return of another batch of relics looted from the country, prompting an embarrassing and frantic search to find them. A spokesman for the State Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, Abdulzahra al-Talqani, said the items would be turned over to Iraq’s National Museum on Monday. “Nobody knew about them in the storeroom,” he said.

Vignette: Last scene of "Raiders of the Lost Ark" - interestingly from a blog post about the US Department of Interior losing artefacts etc..

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