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Pillaging the Gardens of Babylon

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posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 07:51 AM
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More than two years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, 10,000 artefacts looted from the National Museum of Iraq are still missing.


Independant

he National Museum of Iraq is now a sorry sight. The rusting gates are shut to the public, inside layers of dust lie across the 28 galleries empty of everything except a dozen ancient statues which are just too vast to move.

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.

Of a list Col Bogdanos compiled of the 40 most valuable stolen artefacts from the museum looting, 25 still remain unaccounted for and there are no strong leads as to where they are. They include such priceless items as the Sumerian black statue of Eannatum, one of the earliest royal sculptures to bear an inscription; the lifesize head of the goddess of victory, from Hatra; and a gold and ivory plaque of a lioness attacking a Nubian. The most acute losses are pieces which are just too famous to be offered again in the black market. Instead, say investigators, they have already been placed with hugely wealthy collectors who can only lock them away.

Professor Zainab Bahrani, am ancient near eastern historian at Columbia University in the US, is one of a shrinking number of specialists who are attempting to track the stolen heritage. He said: “You are never going to see these in a gallery. No art dealer would ever touch them, because they are just too well known. We are talking about a black market. These pieces will never again see the light of day.”

he US administration faced international condemnation for doing nothing to protect the museum during the anarchic aftermath of the fall of Baghdad while quickly safeguarding the oil ministry. Two months before the invasion a group of experts warned the Pentagon about the dangers of looting following the conflict. The Geneva Convention requires an occupying force to safeguard cultural facilities and the then Secretary of State, Colin Powell, had said: “The US understands its obligations and will be taking a leading role with respect to antiquities in general but this museum in particular.”

Dr Donny George, the director of research for the Board of Antiquities in Iraq, went to the Palestine Hotel, where US marines had set up headquarters, to plead for troops to protect the museum but none were sent for another three days.

Afterwards, the Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who described the days of looting and arson in the Iraqi capital as “untidiness”, said of the sacking of the National Museum: “To try to pass off the fact of that unfortunate activity to a deficit in the war plan strikes me as a stretch.” And General Richard Myers, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “When some of the looting was going on, people were being killed, people were being wounded. It’s as much as anything a matter of priorities.”


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I bet that the Art Black Market is having some Serious Profits this past two years, since 10.000 Artifacts, that are basicly Priceless, are still missing, possibly alread sold to the RICH Private Collectors, and are currently Proudly showing them to their RICH Collector Friends.


Here are some Related Links:

Cultural Barbarism

ATS - At least 8,000 treasures looted from Iraq museum still untraced

ATS - Looters Had Keys to Iraqi Museums




posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 07:53 AM
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They stole the keys to the stargate.......................The garden hid the gate and just before the war Saddam found the original site of the garden.



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 07:56 AM
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Originally posted by thermopolis
They stole the keys to the stargate.......................The garden hid the gate and just before the war Saddam found the original site of the garden.

Errrmmm... OKEY.

No More TV For you Young Man!




posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:01 AM
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That's very depressing. Thousands of items went missing, artifacts that date back thousands of years to Sumer and beyond. Iraq's treasures have been comprehensively plundered. They were in trouble of a different type before the war as well. Saddam, in a sudden rush of blood to his head, "rebuilt" Babylon. By which I mean that he stuck bricks with his name on them on top of the old walls and created a travesty of an archaeological site. And I think I remember seeing a story in 2003 that said that US troops had a base on another site. I'll have a trawl for it. It was very depressing as well. People need to realise that history is massively important.



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:19 AM
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(Massive groan) Yes, I was right. Here's the link. www.guardian.co.uk... And I'll just say that it left me very depressed... I know it's difficult to spot what is or is not an archaeological site in Iraq (buildings were mostly made of mudbrick, so when a city was abandoned it turned into a tell, or small hill, especially if it was built on the remains of other, earlier cities or incarnations of cities) but you'd have thought that they would have listened to experts and not sited those bases there! ARGH!!!



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:24 AM
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HEY,
Who cares about the Destruction and the Collateral Damage,
as Long as the Iraqi People are FREE,
and as Long as they have Democracy!

World History Heritage is now nothing more but a Prize on some Filthy Rich Guys Night Table.




posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:41 AM
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actually, i agree with your sarcasm souljah.

historical artifacts dont seem to do us humans much good. its not like we dont end up repeating the same mistakes over and over. really, those artifacts werent doing much beside the slow decay. even if they told really good detailed stories about the past - what matters is right now.

edit: im not advocating illegal war, but hey..

[edit on 15-11-2005 by lost]



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:47 AM
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Originally posted by lost
historical artifacts dont seem to do us humans much good. its not like we dont end up repeating the same mistakes over and over. really, those artifacts werent doing much beside the slow decay. even if they told really good detailed stories about the past - what matters is right now.

Well, the Nation was already FREE from the Ruthless Dictator and the new, LAWLESS state in complete Anarchy was Born from the Ashes of the Old Iraq. And Basicly the Army that "Liberated" or Invaded Iraq is directly responsible for the Security of Iraq.

The Geneva Convention requires an occupying force to safeguard cultural facilities.

I bet they did not SLIP ANY DROP OF OIL - but 10.000 Priceless Artifacts right infront of their Eyes?

Dr.Donny George, the director of research for the Board of Antiquities in Iraq, went to the Palestine Hotel, where US marines had set up headquarters, to plead for troops to protect the museum but none were sent for another three days.



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:50 AM
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should remember dat America as well as other countries have been helping to bring back many of the artifacts being stolen. should remember dat.



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 08:59 AM
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Originally posted by deltaboy
should remember dat America as well as other countries have been helping to bring back many of the artifacts being stolen. should remember dat.

They ARE?

Do you honestly think they will ever get them back?



posted on Nov, 15 2005 @ 09:18 AM
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Originally posted by Souljah
They ARE?
Do you honestly think they will ever get them back?

Yes, they are. It's a trickle so far, because a lot have been sold or are being kept for eventual sale, but some are being recovered. The problem is that so much has already been destroyed. Priceless pottery, which has survived for thousands of years, has been smashed to pieces by people who just don't understand what it is.
Of course to some people it's just rocks, or dusty stuff that should have been thrown away. But it's history, it's the very building blocks of Iraq, it's about the place where civilisation as we know it started life. Damn I'm angry and sad all at the same time!



posted on Nov, 29 2005 @ 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by Souljah
World History Heritage is now nothing more but a Prize on some Filthy Rich Guys Night Table.



Its always been like that. Rarely do you hear the accomplishments of a poor or middle-class figure in history. Its only the ones such as kings and nobles who can pay for their distorted stories to be told.



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