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Werethere problems with looting antiquities in Iraq prior to the USinvasion? What were
Lootingof antiquities in Iraq started several years ago in 1884 when lawswere passed to destroy and move antiquities. During the WW I,Britishoccupation in Iraq prohibited any export or selling ofantiquities from Iraq and created the National Museum of Iraq. Afterindependence, Iraq had no law guiding against antique looting andthis increased looting and selling of antique items across the globe.During the aftermath of the gulf war during the US invasion lootingof artifacts increased (Bogdanos,2009).
Theinterview of Mathew Bogdanos and the Robbing the Cradle podcast. What
weretheir conclusions about the nature of the museum looting?
Theinterview given by Mathew Bogdanos and Robbing concludes that illegallooting and trade in antiquities in Iraq can be stopped. The twoargues that the problem of looting antique in Iraq National museumhas persisted because the government refused to provide support toaddress the problem. In their analysis, Mathew Bogdanos andRobbingobserve that, the looting is not done by smugglers only, butbrokers, professors, historians and buyers are to blame for continuedantique looting. As a remedy, both agree that, there is a need tobridge the gap between the law enforcement and the academic cultureto enhance an effective strategy of preventing further looting.
Shouldthe US military anticipate that the museum would be looted during theinvasion?
Duringthe US military invasion in Iraq, the National museum was targeted aspart of tracking stolen artifacts. Prior the invasion the invasion ofIraq in 2003, several meetings had been held in U.S as a strategy ofpreventing looting in the Iraq National Museum. However, the U.Smilitary failed to protect the Museum as more protection was given tothe oil ministry. In addition, as part of protecting the museumduring the invasion, the US military knew that, in order to protectit, they had to attack the museum to drive off the Iraq army.However, due to misconception that the Museum would not be looted,the US military gave it less protection and more looting took place.
Whatsteps been taken to address the looting problem in Iraq and reopenthe museum since
theinvasion? Are they adequate given the problem?
Aspart of re-opening the museum, there have been great efforts torecover lost artifacts and repair damage caused during the invasion.After, the museum was re-opened in 2009, most of the originalcollections remainedhidden as part of ensuring their safety. Themuseum staffs were sent abroad for more training on museummanagement. Furthermore, great efforts have been used to recoverstolen artifacts, increasing museum security and using electronictechnology to trace and keep electronic data of artifacts(Bogdanos,2009).
Bogdanos,Matthew (June 17, 2009). MatthewBogdanos.Interview with AllanWolper.Conversationswith Allan Wolper.WBGO.