Iraq Seeks International Treaty Protecting Antique Artifacts

21 Apr 2011 9:18 AM | Anonymous

Iraq Seeks International Treaty Protecting Antique Artifacts

An ancient Babylonian statuette found in present-day Iraq. An estimated 15,000 artifacts were stolen from the country's National Museum during the first days of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

An ancient Babylonian statuette found in present-day Iraq. An estimated 15,000 artifacts were stolen from the country's National Museum during the first days of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003.

April 20, 2011
BAGHDAD -- Iraq wants to conclude a new international agreement that will designate the dealing of antique Iraqi artifacts a crime, RFE/RL's Radio Free Iraq reports.

Iraqi officials said the goal is to preserve the country's heritage from thieves and smugglers.

Baha al-Mayyah, an adviser at the Iraqi Tourism and Historic Monuments Ministry, told RFE/RL on April 18 that "Archaeological sites are still in danger of being looted and are subject to illegal excavations in many places."

He said "the government is working on the possibility of concluding new international agreements that will designate dealing in ancient Iraqi artifacts a crime
 
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