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Experts: From Iraq to the U.S. exported 90 thousand archaeological artifacts

Moscow, 18 September – AIF-Moscow . The war in Iraq was a disaster for the world of archeology and culture: experts say that tens of millenary monuments of ancient civilizations of Sumer and Babylon were damaged or destroyed, and exhibits the largest historical museums exported from the country.

According to the Ministry of tourism and antiquities of Iraq, in 2003-2004 the country was taken out 130 thousand cultural-historical values, and return managed while just 10%, according to the article, published in the new issue of the weekly “Arguments and facts”.

Evidence gathered by the volunteers of middle East office Stringerla Bureau of international investigation, show that the massive looting of Iraqi museums had been planned beforehand. The biggest scandal broke in the fall of 2012 when it was published the certificate of the translator, personally observed the loading of boxes of archives to Iraqi Jews in American transport planes.

The most valuable documents from the collection of the Jewish community of Iraq, according to the representative of the Ministry of tourism and antiquities Abdul Hassan Ali, dates from the period of the Babylonian captivity (sixth century BC). “The Americans,” he says, “vydvigaetsya impossible conditions: we should allow them to keep files for an indefinite number of years for studies and examinations”.

Exactly the same scenario developing negotiations and the return of 10 of thousands of Iraqi historical artifacts, discovered unexpectedly in the spring of 2013 at the American Cornell University. The main requirement of the Americans – leave value for the study for several years. “The Ministry refuses to accept these conditions and insists on the immediate return values,” says Minister of tourism and antiquities Liwaa al-Sumaysim.

“Crime is not limited only to Babylon or looting of the Iraqi national Museum in Baghdad, says Abdul Jabar, in the 90 years leading the restoration of Babylon. – In fact, the task of the invaders was the destruction of the heritage of civilizations of Mesopotamia as a whole – 15 thousand ancient historical places are being invaded and looted. These organized robberies lasted more than 6 months. U.S. troops guarded oil facilities, but not ancient monuments. At this time, one after another came expeditions of American “experts”. After their “excavation” was only an empty pit.”

Experts believe that a large part removed from Iraq artifacts went to the black market. There is a demand for historical artifacts is growing every year, and the price level is through the roof. Even the largest auction house put up for sale removed from Iraq value. So, in 2008 Christie’s auction in new York only at the last moment were removed unique gold earrings from the treasure found during the excavations of the Assyrian capital of Nimrud in Northern Iraq. But this is more the exception to the rule – Iraq artifacts on the black market, rarely appear in the open sale.

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