|Hundreds of Looted Artifacts from Museums Returned to Iraq|
An AK-47, with Saddam Hussein's image on it, is displayed at the Iraqi Ministry of foreign Affairs in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2010. Hundreds of Iraqi artifacts looted from museums and archaeological sites across the country have been returned to Iraq. The display is part of Iraqi efforts to repatriate its looted cultural heritage. AP Photo/Karim Kadim.
By: Barbara Surk, Associated Press Writer
BAGHDAD (AP).-Hundreds of Iraqi artifacts looted from museums and archaeological sites across the country including a 4,400-year-old statue of an ancient king stolen during the U.S.-led invasion have been returned to Iraq and were displayed Tuesday.
Iraq is home to relics of the world's most ancient urban civilizations. But its priceless heritage has been plundered during the country's wars and upheavals, and its precious antiquities sold to collectors abroad.
The U.S. military was heavily criticized for not protecting the Iraqi National Museum's trove of relics and art following Baghdad's fall in 2003. Thieves ransacked the collection, stealing or destroying priceless artifacts that chronicled some 7,000 years of civilization in Mesopotamia, including the ancient Babylonians, Sumerians and Assyrians.
Iraqi and world culture officials have for years struggled to retrieve the treasures but met little success. About 15,000 pieces are still missing from the museum that reopened last year, according to the Deputy Director of the museum, Mohammed Muhsen Ali.
More than 5,000 pieces have been returned since 2003, he said.
"Today is a celebration in Iraq. This is bringing back the civilization and the cultural heritage of Iraq," he said.
Tuesday's display at the Foreign Ministry of more 542 pieces returned to Iraq was aimed at showcasing Iraqi and international efforts to repatriate the country's looted cultural heritage.
The most prominent piece on display was the 4,400-year-old statue of a Sumerian king discovered in the 1920s at the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq. The headless statue was stolen from the Iraqi National Museum during the looting and chaos that followed the capture of Baghdad by U.S. forces in April 2003.
Among the youngest pieces of Iraq's past on display Tuesday was a chrome-plated AK-47 with a pearl hand grip bearing Saddam Hussein's image. It was taken to the U.S. by an American soldier as a war trophy.
Tuesday's display was hailed as a great achievement by Iraqi government officials who vowed to continue the battle to reclaim Iraq's artifacts.
"We will not stop," said Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari. "We will continue our efforts in order to return the last precious pieces to its legitimate owners."
In a separate development, an al-Qaida front group claimed responsibility for a weekend attack in the heart of Baghdad that killed 12 people.
In a statement posted on a militant website, the Islamic State of Iraq took credit for an hour-long assault Sunday on the headquarters of the Iraqi Army's 11th Division. It was the second assault on the complex in less than a month and demonstrated the challenges Iraqi security forces are still facing after the U.S. change of mission.
U.S. troops living and working at the complex helped Iraqi troops repel Sunday's assault, marking the first exchange of gunfire involving American forces since President Barack Obama declared an end to combat operations Aug. 31.
Associated Press Writers Sameer N. Yacoub and Sinan Salaheddin contributed to this report.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.
September 7, 2010
Sotheby's to Sell Group of Exceptional Paintings from the Collection of Supermodel Jerry Hall
Sotheby's Modern & Contemporary Southeast Paintings Sale Announced
Ancient City by the Sea, Leukaspis or Antiphrae, Rises Amid Egypt's Resorts
Ernesto Neto "Intimacy" at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art
Strong Selection of Prints by Modern and Contemporary Masters at Sotheby's
Construction Work to Start on The Photographers' Gallery
Bowes Museum Reunites Two Important Works for New Display
Hundreds of Looted Artifacts from Museums Returned to Iraq
Christie's to Present a Three-Week Exhibition of Contemporary Art from China
MCA Names James Goggin Director of Design, Print, and Digital Media
The Amazons: Mysterious Warrior Maidens Explored in New Exhibition
Anonymous Studio Installs "Alexandria" at Southern Polytechnic State University
Powerhouse Museum to Develop International Exhibition About The Wiggles
War Photographer Paolo Pellegrin Takes a Shot at Fashion
ArtTactic's Chinese Contemporary Art Market Confidence Survey Shows Continued Strong Recovery
Iguatemi Sao Paulo Hosts SP-Arte/Foto
Bellevue Arts Museum Announces BAM Biennial Award Winner
Art Now: Clunie Reid and James Richards at Tate Britain
Art Forum Berlin and ABC Art Berlin Contemporary to Take Place Concurrently
Eleven Egyptian Officials to Be Tried in Van Gogh Theft
Astrid Klein "Broken Heart, Works from 1980 - 1995" at Sprüth Magers
Tina Berning and Michelangelo Di Battista: Face/Project at Camera Work Gallery
Irish Pavilion Presents Portfolio of Irish Architecture Practice
Christie's Expects Poussin's Painting to Fetch Up to $31 Million
Exhibition and Karl Ströher Prize for French Artist Cyprien Gaillard
Raphael Tapestries Go on Show in Britain at the Victoria & Albert Museum
Exhibition "Woman as Muse, 1900-1950" Opens at the Herakleidon Museum
Yad Vashem Gets Access to Polish Archives
World Trade Center Steel Columns to Be Installed at 9/11 Museum
Fundacion Proa Presents Exhibition of Artistic Production in the 1960s
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Colossal statue of Amenhotep III unveiled on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt
2.- British royals crown New York visit with gala dinner
3.- Missing artwork rediscovered in "Stuart Little" sells for over 200,000 euros at auction
4.- Rossetti's Venus Verticordia soars at Sotheby's in London to sell for £2.88 million
5.- Russian magnate buys, then returns Nobel prize to American geneticist James Watson
6.- Egyptian Museum unveils four newly renovated halls of the famed Tutankhamun gallery
7.- 'The Secret of Dresden: From Rembrandt to Canaletto' on view at the Groninger Museum
8.- Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum reopens after three-year renovation
9.- More than 200 queries about works by possible heirs received on Nazi-era art hoard
10.- Attorney, artist and filmmaker reflects on the seven lessons learned at 2014 Art Basel Miami Beach
Authorities in Iraq Finds Missing Artifacts in Premier's Storage
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|