Iraq News - Local News - Baghdadpost

Iraqi museum unveils 'looted' artifacts

Iraqi treasures
The Iraqi authorities said that more than 2,000 artifacts, including about 100 of them that were looted and then discovered abroad, were unveiled Tuesday March 19th, at a museum in Basra province on the southern tip of Iraq.

Basra is the most oil-rich province in Iraq, but its heritage sites have long been neglected.

On Tuesday Marach 19th, between 2,000 and 2,500 pieces went on display in the Basra Museum, the second largest in Iraq, said Qahtan al-Obeid, head of archeology and heritage in the province.

"They date from 6000 BC to 1500 AD," he told AFP, in reference to the Assyrian, Babylonian and Sumerian periods.

Moreover, Obeid said about 100 artefacts—most of which came from Jordan and the US—were returned to Iraq to be displayed at the museum, which is a former palace of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

The historic heritage of Iraq, which was the former Mesopotamia, regarded as the cradle of civilization, has paid a heavy price due to the wars that have ravaged the country for nearly four decades.

In 2003, following the US-led invasion that overthrew Saddam, Isis then went on to destroy many of the country's ancient statues and pre-Islamic treasures, and sites.

During the occupation of nearly a third of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, Isis captured much attention by posting videos of its militants destroying historic artifacts by blowing them up, or attacking the world-famous heritage sites with sledgehammers and pneumatic drills, on the grounds that they were idolatrous.