Saturday, December 11, 2004

Spoils of War: The Antiquities Trade and the Looting of Iraq

This from the Centre for Research on Globalisation. Click title to link - PolPOP

by Gregory Elich

It has been called the worst cultural disaster to happen since the Second World War, and one archaeologist has likened it to a "lobotomy of an entire culture." (1) To the dismay of archaeologists throughout the world, the toppling of the Iraqi government by U.S. troops unleashed a wave of looting and destruction of Iraq’s national patrimony. Despite pleas for action from outraged scholars, the culturally blinkered Bush Administration remained indifferent, belatedly acting only when media coverage mushroomed into a public relations fiasco that threatened to upend the manufactured image of benign liberation. Although the scale of loss from the looting of the National Museum in Baghdad was less serious than initially indicated, it was nevertheless a crippling blow, while elsewhere in Iraq the situation ran alarmingly out of control. . .


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