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The Looting and Recovery of Iraqi Treasures

Part of a beheaded sculpture lies among rubble after a mob of looters ransacked and looted Iraq's largest archeological museum in Baghdad.
Part of a beheaded sculpture lies among rubble after a mob of looters ransacked and looted Iraq's largest archeological museum in Baghdad.
Milking scene from the Temple of Ninhursag, from Tell al Ubaid, c. 2400 B.C.
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Milking scene from the Temple of Ninhursag, from Tell al Ubaid, c. 2400 B.C.
This alabaster relief is one of three fragments from a single stela that dates to the time of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, c. 2334-2154 B.C.
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This alabaster relief is one of three fragments from a single stela that dates to the time of the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, c. 2334-2154 B.C.

Many of the most important artifacts of human history were collected in Baghdad's National Museum of Iraq -- and then looted amid the chaos of the American-lead invasion two years ago.

Though quite a few of these objects have been recovered, many more have not. A new book, The Looting of the Iraq Museum, tries to create a virtual museum with descriptions and pictures of the treasures.

The director of the museum talks about the looted treasures of Babylon, and the few that have made their way home.

Guest:

Donny George, director of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad; wrote the foreword for the new book The Looting of the Iraq Museum, Baghdad: The Lost Legacy of Ancient Mesopotamia

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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