Repatriating part of Saddam statue could promote democracy

07 Jun 2012 11:56 AM | Anonymous

Repatriating part of Saddam statue could promote democracy
U.S. should consider strategic protection of cultural artifacts
By Erik Nemeth

June 7, 2012


A few months ago a former British soldier made headlines for trying to sell part of the backside of the Saddam Hussein statue that was famously toppled in 2003. Though Saddam was long gone, the Iraqi government, happy to be rid of him, requested the return of the "artifact." Their interest in repatriating a symbol of their "dictator in hindsight" illustrates the unforeseeable significance of cultural property in foreign relations.

The example suggests that the U.S. might consider proactive protection of cultural property in regions of conflict as an underutilized opportunity for political diplomacy, if not outright negotiation.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/ct-perspec-0607-artifacts-20120607,0,1216556,print.story

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