More on the Return of Cultural Heritage to Iraq

Yesterday on “All Things Considered” Farah Stockman talks about the return of the statue of King Entemena and other objects. Stockman talks about the comments of the Iraqi Ambassador:

It was very moving to hear him talk about the statue and what it meant to him personally to have it come back and how it was this metaphor for Iraq, basically how, you know, how destruction is so much quicker than construction. He said it took four days for them to loot all these things, and it’s taken seven years for us to get even a third of them back. And he said we’ll be working on this for 20 years, and we may never get them all back.

As good a description as any about the harms which flow from theft and destruction of heritage.  Yet a complicating factor in Iraq is ensuring that returned objects are cared for.  Larry Rothfield says the loss of another shipment of repatriated objects is “one more piece of evidence, if that were required, that the State Department dropped the ball completely by focusing its efforts on restoring the museum rather than on helping the Iraqis get their cultural policy infrastructure set up properly”.

  1. Looted Iraqi Relics Return Home : NPR, , (last visited Sep 9, 2010).

Audio after the jump.

Questions or Comments? Email me at

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.