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Resurrecting the Baghdad National Museum

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Author Topic: Resurrecting the Baghdad National Museum  (Read 627 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2008, 10:58:43 am »









                                                        Recent work





At various Iraq reconstruction conferences, the Baghdad Museum Project gave presentations to the reconstruction community advocating preservation of Iraq's cultural heritage in rebuilding projects.

In February 2006, the museum published a three volume set entitled "The Wikipedia Muhammed Cartoons Debate" containing, in full, the discussion between Wikipedia editors on whether to include controversial images of the prophet in the Wikipedia article about the wider controversy sparked by those images.

On August 27, 2006, Iraq's museum director Donny George Youkhana fled the country to Syria, claiming "pressure to follow a radical Islamic agenda in the preservation of Iraqi antiquities made his position impossible.". Donny George now holds the position of visiting professor in the anthropology department of the Stony Brook State University of New York.
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Bianca
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« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2008, 11:01:47 am »









References



^ a b c d Bogdanos, Matthew (January 2005). "Pieces of the Cradle". Marine Corps Gazette (January 2005): 60-66. Marine Corps Association.
 
^ Poole, Robert M. (2008). Looting Iraq. Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved on 2008-02-22.

^ Robbing the Cradle of Civilization, Deutsche Welle, April 18, 2003

^ US experts resign over Iraq looting, BBC News, April 18, 2003

^ The Wikipedia Muhammad Cartoons Debate - A War of Ideas, John Simmons (Editor), Iraq Museum International; February 10, 2006

^ Leading Iraq archaeologist flees, BBC News, August 26, 2006

^ The Graduate Review





External links



The Iraq Museum Official web presence of the National Museum of Iraq

Lost Treasures from Iraq Illustrated site by University of Chicago
 
The 2003- Iraq War & Archaeology

Media blamed for exaggerating loss of antiquities

Bogdanos, Matthew. The Casualties of War: The Truth about the Iraq Museum American Journal of Archaeology, 109, 3 (July 2005)

Bogdanos, Matthew. Thieves of Baghdad - and of the World's Cultural Property

[https://listhost.uchicago.edu/mailman/listinfo/iraqcrisis






News and editorials



The Ghost in the Baghdad Museum, The New York Times, April 2, 2006 by Roger Cohen

Thousands of Iraqi artifacts found, CNN, May 7, 2003
 
Missing Antiquities: Loss Estimates Are Cut on Iraqi Artifacts, but Questions Remain, The New York Times, May 1, 2003

Relics: Experts' Pleas to Pentagon Didn't Save Museum, The New York Times, April 16, 2003

Antiquities: Curators Appeal for a Ban on Purchase of Iraqi Artifacts, The New York Times, April 16, 2003

Hundreds of looted items returned to Iraqi museum, CNN Web Site, November 11, 2003

Iraq and Ruin, The Guardian, May 2, 2003, Neal Ascherson interview with Donny George

Donny George: A Real-Life Treasure Hunt, Newsweek, March 21, 2005
 
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Museum_of_Iraq"
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Bianca
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« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2008, 11:09:46 am »









                                             Iraqi Man Defends Baghdad Museum From Looters





Saber Mufti, the guardian of the Baghdad Museum, holds a rifle to defend the museum from looters as he stands next to a mannequin of Iraqi poet Mulla Abboud Al Karkhi Al Baghdadi April 23, 2003 in Baghdad, Iraq.

The museum displays many mannequins in both historical and modern settings.



(Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

by Marco Di Lauroreference: 1947167











http://www.jamd.com/search?assettype=g&assetid=1947169&text=BAGHDAD+MUSEUM
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« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2008, 11:29:24 am »












                                             Museum of Baghdad Lost Forever     
 
 
 
 


 
www.IranDokht.com
By: Massoume Price
 
 
 

The National Museum at Baghdad was one of the most important Antiquity museums in the world,
if not the most important.

The Cradle of Civilization as it is often called, Mesopotamia (meaning between two rivers, present
day Iraq) was the earliest center of urban civilization, and the museum contained some of the most important items signifying the genius of mankind. The first tablets with the earliest written records created by humankind, the magnificent bronze head of Sargon equal to any work by Michelangelo, and 3500 years older than Michelangelo's David, were looted and lost forever.




 
The first human writings, Sumer 3000BC



The oldest versions of the earliest literary works, Gilgamesh and the Biblical Flood, and the oldest recorded poetry composed by Enheduanna, the high priestess of the temple at Ur, vanished in just a few hours of chaos, greed and madness.

The beautiful 4000-year-old harp from the Biblical city of Ur once played at the temples to please the gods, plus the magnificent jewelry and head ornaments discovered at the royal cemetery at Ur were savagely taken.
 
 
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« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2008, 11:34:31 am »



Bronze head of Sargon 1800BC






170,000 pieces detailing human brilliance, creativity and evolution, right from the beginning when the first Neolithic Revolution started 7000 years ago were kept and catalogued by the best experts in the world.

People who dug out sites for over a century, cleaned every piece with love and care, labeled and displayed them, would shiver in their graves if they knew what happened to their labor of love.
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« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2008, 11:37:14 am »



Harp, Royal complex at Ur, 2000BC









These weren't just items that were lost, people often point out that human life is more valuable than any object.

The items at the museum represented the collective consciousness of many nations from Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, and Iranians to the Iraqis for thousands of years. They represented the spirit of our nations, the brilliance of our ancestors who built and made us into what we are.

Even nations cannot last for long without a spirit.

As painful as it sounds, it is at times like these, that some of us are grateful that many of our national treasures are kept safe in museums outside our own countries; at least they are safe.
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« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2008, 11:42:51 am »



Jewelry from Royal Tombs, Ur, 3000BC







Providing no protection to the National Museum at Baghdad was a criminal act, and against the Geneva Convention that clearly states that the occupying forces are responsible for the safety and security of the occupied nations and their heritage sites and collections.

In fact it was a deliberate criminal act, because Americans were begged to send troops and protect the museum and they did not. They could not spare a tank with a few soldiers to protect thousands of years of culture, brilliance's continuity and human creativity.

When the Taliban forces were destroying the Buddha's statue in Afghanistan, the US media repeatedly showed the destructions for days, how many times have we seen the destruction of the museums in Iraq? Lets hope that the world community will sue them for their negligence.



Massoume Price

info@cultureofiran.com



 
" The IranDokht Community strongly condemns the looting of the National Museum in Baghdad. "
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« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2008, 06:55:37 pm »












                                                The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq





by Peter Stone and Joanne Farchakh
Reviewed by Mary Beard


The TimesOnLine
May 9, 2008

THE TWO MOST FAMOUS words ever spoken by Donald Rumsfeld - “Stuff happens” - were given in response to persistent questioning in April, 2003 about the looting of Baghdad, including the National Museum. Rumsfeld did not have a clue what had happened to the 5,000-year-old Wark Vase, or the thousands of other antiquities that had been systematically lifted; nor did he much care.

The contributors to this moving volume care a great deal about the treasures of Iraq, from the ancient civilisation of Mesopotamia to the manuscripts and archives in the National Library. The truth is that they know little more than Rumsfeld did. It is still disputed who masterminded the museum robberies: Saddam loyalists, international antiquities dealers, local criminals or rogue elements on the museum's own staff? And how implicated were the Coalition forces in disposing of this material?

There are occasional bright spots in this terrible story of the destruction of Iraq's museums and archaeology - the Wark vase was returned to the museum, along with other stolen objects. For a few months at least, a brave team of five Italian Carabinieri plus helicopter, codenamed Viper 5, did manage to protect the archaeological sites around Nasiriyah.

The intervention of the British Museum and others eventually pressured the Pentagon to guard the National Museum more effectively. In retrospect, the British themselves were lucky: Basra Museum contained comparatively little to write home about.

But overall the picture is bleak. The fate of Iraq's cultural treasures was already set when sanctions were imposed in 1991. Many of the Iraqi poor found that a tidy profit could be made from illegal digging and selling on the antiquities. And the no-fly zone meant that the Government could not send helicopters to police the sites in the desert.

Unsurprisingly, when the war began, none of the Coalition members had a plan for the cultural treasures. The result was the destruction of thousands of archaeological sites. Precious ivories were trampled underfoot on the museum floor. Whole libraries were set on fire.

Some of the archaeologists in the volume are perhaps over-optimistic about what is feasible in a combat zone.
As an antidote, an excellent article by Matthew Bogdanos, who has served with the military in Iraq, gives a hardheaded strategic assessment of just how difficult it was to protect the museum. It's not just a question of sending a tank.

Wars always threaten cultural treasures.

In the Second World War, the Allies gave Pompeii its worst pounding since the eruption of Vesuvius in AD79
and pulverised the abbey at Monte Cassino.

German raids targeted Bath and Exeter.

In truth, Hague Convention or not, a Unesco Blue Shield or Baedeker three stars is more likely to draw, rather
than deflect, enemy fire.
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