Like other cultural relics, the 4400 year old statue of King ntimena, which was originally quietly placed in the museum,
, has once again been thrown into the cycle of fate by history. Archaeologists believe that the nearly one meter high statue was once part of the temple of ragesh city.
an Iraqi soldier displays a cultural relic on December 16, 2008. Earlier, the Iraqi police found 228 precious cultural relics, some of which belong to the National Museum.
there is a letter on the web page of the Iraqi National Museum, written after the U.S. invasion in 2003. The letter calls on the world to help the Iraqi cultural relics department, especially the museum, whether it is to donate money, materials or clues. The home page of the museum has never changed in the past seven years. Iraqi journalist Rashid said that due to practical problems such as economic strength, the Iraqi government’s initiative to recover cultural relics is very limited. Most of them are donated by other countries or returned with the help of non-governmental organizations. This sentence pierced the pain of the return of Iraqi cultural relics.
the American soldier
published a book to disclose that the cultural relics smuggled by Iraq
the cultural relics returned by the Americans to Iraq are only a small part of the cultural relics lost in Iraq for decades. In addition to the looting of the National Museum during the Iraq war, as an ancient cultural country with a history of thousands of years, there are also many cases of theft and disappearance of cultural relics unearthed all over Iraq, and many of them are not recorded.
U.S. reserve Navy Colonel Bogdanos is very concerned about the smuggling of cultural relics in Iraq and has made a lot of statistics on the cultural relics handled in handling the case.
he drew up a list of “40 top lost cultural relics” in Iraq. These are national treasures, including Sumerian statues, gold and ivory lions attacking Nubians, and a bronze head of victory almost life size. Fifteen items on the list of
have been found, including Sumerian valka vases and masks, Assyrian bronzes, and a bronze statue of Akkadian bassetti boy found at the bottom of a sewage tank in Baghdad in 2003.
another catalogue in his hand is the statistics of 8000 small cultural relics, including pendants, jewelry, amulets, etc. These things are easy to hide and take abroad. It is estimated that most of them are in the hands of foreigners. “You will never see them in museums again, and even cultural relics dealers will not touch them, because they are too famous. I looked for them on the black market, but I found nothing. Maybe they will never see the light again.”
the preference for cultural relics led Bogdanos to publish a book called “Baghdad thieves”. The book introduces many cases. For example, a veteran returning to the United States from Iraq was found by the Federal Bureau of investigation (FBI) to carry eight cultural relics, which were then returned to Iraq. What’s more, some journalists are also involved in smuggling activities. A reporter named Joseph Brad was found carrying three Iraqi cultural relics by customs during security inspection at New York airport.
the Iraqi government
tried to prevent Christie’s from making gold earrings
the United States has become an overseas camp for Iraq to collect lost cultural relics. Many Iraqi experts are studying cultural relics in the United States and make use of as many ways and means as possible to contribute to the eventual return of cultural relics to the motherland.
Doni George yorkhana, an elite Iraqi archaeologist and former curator of the National Museum, now lives in the United States. In 2006, he left Iraq for Syria on the pretext of being threatened by extremist religious organizations. At present, he is a visiting scholar of human archaeology at Stony Brook University and a visiting professor at the State Museum of New York.
through his efforts, nimrudkin Earrings stolen during Saddam Hussein’s period have been successfully returned to Iraq. In 1989, archaeologists found “treasures” – including many cultural relics exquisitely carved and inlaid with gemstones, such as gold earrings, gold rings, necklaces, plates, bottles and bowls, in four Royal cemeteries near Mosul in northern Iraq. This is considered to be a major discovery of archaeological work in the 20th century.
the disaster of nimrudkin Earrings began in the Gulf War in 1991. Saddam was worried that the entry of U.S. troops into Iraq would be detrimental to cultural relics, so he ordered people to put important cultural relics into the safe under the bank in batches. However, in the war, the gold earrings disappeared.
more than ten years later, gold earrings suddenly appeared on the auction list of Christie’s in New York, with a price of $45000-65000.
come to yorkhana in the United States and often go around the auction house to pay attention to Iraqi cultural relics. When Christie’s auction list included a gold earring, yorkhana was immediately alert. “I recognized it immediately. I took the photo of this earring myself. I was at the scene when it was unearthed.”
the Iraqi government immediately protested after learning about the matter and put forward a formal written opinion demanding the return of cultural relics and the suspension of auction. Us customs also took action, and Christie’s immediately suspended the trading of earrings.
but Christie’s never disclosed who gave them the earrings for auction. U.S. Customs did not release details, but said the auction was illegal and the auction items should be returned to Iraq.
the theft of Nimrud gold earrings is still a mystery, and many people accuse officials, museum or bank managers of stealing from themselves. But its return is a little comforting.
buys back the stolen cultural relics
from his compatriots to recover the cultural relicsThe operation was launched soon after the robbery. Some of the cultural relics recovered locally in Iraq were sent back by ordinary people and some were recovered by the police.
Suleiman aswande, an old man in Baghdad, was very sad to hear that the Baghdad National Museum was robbed and decided to help trace the stolen cultural relics. “A girl came to my store and wanted to sell me some seals. Without asking where these things came from, I paid her $1300 to buy these 92 seals from the museum.” When telling this story, the old aswande’s eyes were filled with tears. “Our own compatriots stealing cultural relics are like sons stealing fathers. Iraq can be rebuilt, but we can never rebuild history.”
there are many Iraqis like aswand. Baghdad residents Ibrahim and Ahmed also told their stories. “When the thieves broke into the museum, we followed. When we realized what they were going to do, we also picked up several large artifacts from the ground and took them home. A few weeks later, we returned the artifacts.” Emad took the varka vase, which is one of the most precious relics in the museum. “I didn’t know what it was. I just saw it on the ground and picked it up. With the help of my uncle, we put it in a metal box and rolled it out of the museum.”