Iraq fights for return of thousands of stolen artifacts
The United States and some other countries are going to return thousands of stolen artifacts, some thousands of years old, to Iraq. It’s about the greatest return of artifacts for that country ever. Much of it was looted in the chaos following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Also IS terror group is smuggled artworks to get money.
In recent years, American, Iraqi and international experts have tracked down numerous works of art stolen from Iraq. The agreement was reached during the visit of Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi to US president Joe Biden at the end of last month. Some artworks have already returned by plane from Prime Minister Al-Kadhimi, others follow.
Many of these items were stolen from Iraqi museums or archaeological sites in the chaos that followed the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. Almost all parties took advantage of the opportunity and museums were looted. These are sometimes thousands of years old pieces from the periods of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian cultures in Iraq.
During the rise of the terror group ISIS a few years ago, it destroyed many artefacts because they were pre-Islamic, but IS also smuggled many of those objects away and had them sold on the international black art market in order to get money. This is how they ended up in museums and collectors in the USA, The Netherlands, Italy and Japan. Of these, 17,000 are now being returned to Iraq. It’s about the greatest return of looting art in that country ever.