"On the Iraq Museum and other assaults brief news about the plundering of Iraqi Museums and the systematic looting of Iraqi Archaeological Heritage", in ISIMU, vol. 3

Thème de la ressource: 
Pillage d'objets archéologiques
Type de ressource: 
Bibliographie - Articles
CORDOBA Joaquin Maria
Universidad Autonoma de Madrid
Pages / Longueur: 
pp. 15-46
Langue de publication: 

The looting of the Iraq Museum occurred as an additional consequence of an illegal and unjust military intervention. In the author’s opinion, the looting of last April, although dramatic, was not the most harmful damage inflicted upon the heritage of Iraq. Much more serious is the fact that thanks to the indifference of international bodies in charge of protecting Iraqi heritage, over twelve years several regional museums have been emptied, many archaeological sites have been plundered by international gangs, and the seizure of chemical products has made restoration of the stored items virtually impossible. During these twelve years different publications and efforts were ignored or even silenced. Moral cowardice, political cynicism and abrogation of responsibility triggered the massive appearance of illegally obtained items on the international market of Mesopotamian antiquities, so encouraging dealers to continue their activities. The disastrous collapse of Iraqi heritage has, in the end, been partly alleviated, if not avoided, through the heroism and endeavour of the Iraq Museum curators and employees. However, the proven inability of international justice and the impunity with which antiquities are being trafficked requires a sustained response from specialists in defence of Iraqi heritage.