Plundering the Past: Iraq Museum Opens Boxes After Persian Gulf War

After ten years, a museum in Baghdad reopens with prized antiquities

by David Johnson

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Since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, thousands of antiquities from Iraq, many stolen from museums, have found their way onto the world market. However, the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, one of the most important museums in the Middle East, recently reopened after being closed for ten years.

The institution's vast and varied collection had been packed in crates and hidden in various secret locations to prevent damage by bombs or looting. The museum is now displaying some smuggled items that have been recovered, including statues and engraved jars retrieved from Switzerland.

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