Netherlands to Return Artifacts to Iraq
Posted on Jul 9, 2009
Dutch art dealers have surrendered 69 artifacts that were stolen from Iraq following the U.S. invasion. The ancient objects will remain in the Netherlands until they can be returned to Iraq. In addition to losing 15,000 treasures stolen from Iraq’s national museum, the country has had to contend with rampant looting since the 2003 invasion.
Tens of thousands of items are believed to have been looted from Iraq in the chaos which followed invasion.
Despite international efforts to track items down, fewer than half of the artefacts have so far been retrieved.
Ronald Plasterk, the Dutch minister for education, culture and science, said the world should “cherish and honour” Iraq’s history as the cradle of civilisation.
USAF / Staff Sgt. Samuel Bendet
As the birthplace of civilization, Iraq is littered with priceless cultural artifacts, tens of thousands of which have been looted and sold around the world. Here, two archeologists handle objects recovered from a U.S. military base in Iraq.