US Returning Artifacts to Iraq
By Micah Halpern
Monday August 2, 2021
Even today “spoils of war” are a reality. Looting is as wrong today as it has been for centuries - especially when national treasures are the stolen loot.
During the Colonial Period the British were notorious looters. The British Museum is filled with the stolen artifacts. The head of a sculpture, for example, is on display in the museum while the rest of the statue’s body stands in situ.
In 2003, during the US operation in Iraq to oust Sadaam Hussein, tens of thousands of archeological artifacts were looted.
The United States is now gathering those Iraqi national treasures and will return more than 17,000 ancient artifacts looted and smuggled out of Iraq.
The most valuable of all the items is a 3,500-year-old clay tablet bearing part of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is the Babylonia creation story, it is their equivalent of the biblical story of Genesis.
Countless national treasures of Iraq, archeological finds and artifacts, were poached or – more often, destroyed by ISIS. Thrown to the ground and smashed into pieces. They destroyed more than the United States took. ISIS controlled a third of Iraq between the years 2014 and 2017, before they were defeated by Iraqi and international forces.
U.S. authorities are working diligently to recover the artifacts. They are literally seizing them from dealers and museums in the United States. And Iraq is grateful.
As Iraqi Culture Minister Hassan Nadhim told Reuters: "The U.S. government seized some of the artifacts and sent them to the (Iraqi) embassy. The Gilgamesh tablet, the important one, will be returned to Iraq in the next month after legal procedures are finalized".
It is never too late to right a wrong.
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4 August 2021 10:44 AM in Thoughts
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