Iraq Reopens the Baghdad Museum

The Iraqi National Museum was reopened today, 12 years after it was looted in the wake of the U.S. invasion. Today’s opening came as a response to ISIS’s destruction of antiquities in the Mosul Museum, many of which were priceless Assyrian sculptures from the royal palaces. The U.S. is primarily to blame for the looting of Iraq’s museum. The museum was second behind only the Central Bank on a list of sites to secure, but we did not do so. Some 15,000 objects were looted in a mere two days, most of which remain missing. Museum staff – on their own initiative – hid thousands of the Museum’s most important artifacts in a location known only to them at the time. If they had not done so, the damage would have been much worse. The U.S. officer charged with recovering these objects has written an article in the AJA and a book about his efforts: Matthew Bogdanos, Thieves of Baghdad.



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