Looted Iraqi museum hopes to reopen, minus many relics 眾多古物缺席 遭劫掠伊拉克博物館重新開幕

Thu, Mar 20, 2014 - Page 10

A decade on from the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and whipped up a tsunami of theft in Baghdad, Iraq’s National Museum is preparing to display its treasures of Mesopotamian culture — even if thousands are missing.

The looting of the museum under the eyes of US troops has sometimes been compared to the Mongol sack of the Grand Library of Baghdad in 1258. Then-US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shrugged it off with the comment “stuff happens.”

But if many Iraqis still see the museum’s looting as a symbol of the cavalier recklessness of the invasion, its current state is emblematic of the bloodshed, political discord and bureaucratic dysfunction that have racked Iraq ever since.

Museum workers also hope it could one day encapsulate the promise and achievements of an oil-rich country which for millennia sat at the heart of human civilization.

“The museum is now displaying some of the stolen antiquities that were recovered and restored. From a historical perspective and in terms of restoration, it’s a very good thing, and they’re ready to be presented,” said Shaimaa Abdel Qader, a tour guide with the museum.

(Liberty Times)