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Stolen Iraqi Artifacts Returned
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) ― Jordan turned over Sunday nearly 2,500 stolen Iraqi artifacts to Iraq's top antiquities official, in the latest effort to recover the war-torn nation's stolen heritage.
In the chaos following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, looters snatched some 15,000 priceless artifacts and smuggled them out of the country. In the last few months, Jordanian authorities seized 2,466 items as they were being taken across the border.
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Widespread looting in Baghdad and other Iraqi cities following Saddam's ouster plundered the country's Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian collections spanning some 7,000 years of civilization in ancient Mesopotamia.
Hundreds of Looted Artifacts Returned to Iraq Museum
BAGHDAD — Iraq's National Museum recovered on Sunday 701 artifacts stolen in the wake of Saddam Hussein's ouster, raising hopes of restoring the nation's rich cultural heritage after five years of war.
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Syrian authorities said the artifacts were seized from traffickers over the past five years. They said some of the smugglers were arrested but did not say how many.
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Although such suspicions of insurgent links to antiquity smuggling has drawn mixed opinions in the past from experts, U.S. Marines in 2006, arrested a group of suspected insurgents in underground bunkers where they found weapons, ammunition and uniforms alongside vases, cylinder seals and statuettes that had been stolen from the National Museum.
The U.S. military was intensely criticized for not protecting the National Museum's treasure of ancient relics and art in
On April 8, 2003 the last of the museum staff left the museum. Iraqi forces, in violation of Geneva Conventions, engaged U.S. forces from within the museum, as well as the nearby Special Republican Guard compound. Lt. Col. Eric Schwartz of the U.S. Army's Third Infantry Division stated that he was unable to enter the compound and secure it since they attempted to avoid returning fire at the building. Sniper positions, discarded ammunition, and 15 Iraqi Army uniforms were later discovered in the building. Iraqi forces had built a fortified wall along the western side of the compound, allowing concealed movement between the front and rear of the museum. 
Thefts took place between April 10 and 12, when some staff returned to the building and fended off further attempts by looters to enter the museum until U.S. forces arrived on April 16. A special team headed by Marine Col. Matthew Bogdanos initiated an investigation on April 21. His investigation indicated that despite claims to the contrary, no U.S. forces had looted the building, and that there were three separate thefts by three distinct groups over the four days. While the staff instituted a storage plan to prevent theft and damage (also used during the Iran–Iraq War and the first Gulf War), many larger statues, steles, and friezes had been left in the public galleries, protected with foam and surrounded by sandbags. Forty pieces were stolen from these galleries, mostly the more valuable. Of these 13 had been recovered as of January 2005, including the three most valuable — the Sacred Vase of Warka (though broken in fourteen pieces,which was the original state it was found in when first excavated), the Mask of Warka, and the Bassetki Statue.
In addition, the museum's aboveground storage rooms were looted; the exterior steel doors showed no signs of forced entry. Approximately 3,100 excavation site pieces (jars, vessels, pottery shards, etc.) were stolen, of which over 3,000 have been recovered. The thefts did not appear to be discriminating; for example, an entire shelf of fakes was stolen, while an adjacent shelf of much greater value was undisturbed.
The third occurrence of theft was in the underground storage rooms, where evidence pointed to an inside job. The thieves attempted to steal the most easily transportable objects, which had been intentionally stored in the most remote location possible. Of the four rooms, the only portion disturbed was a single corner in the furthest room, where cabinets contained 100 small boxes containing cylinder seals, beads, and jewelry. Evidence indicated that the thieves possessed keys to the cabinets but dropped them in the dark. Instead, they stole 10,000 small objects that were lying in plastic boxes on the floor. Of them, nearly 2,500 have been recovered.
Edit - Links for space station in Irak -
There's endless possibilities of what the War over there could be for.