Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Recovering from looting

Here's a report in the CSMonitor about the plans to try recover and restore Iraq's antiquities: "Iraq and Ruin: Archaeologists have been piecing Iraq's past together for centuries. Now they're at it again." By Mary Wiltenburg.
Worldwide outcry over 7,000 years' worth of artifacts smashed or stolen two weeks ago - and over US troops' failure to protect them - has galvanized heavy-hitters in the antiquities and policing worlds. UNESCO wants to send a team to Iraq to assess damage, Interpol has alerted police in 181 countries, and the US has pledged the FBI's help....

[S]trange as it may sound, the world's loss of priceless cultural artifacts could in one sense also prove its gain. Many around the world - particularly Americans - seem to be waking up to the significance of what was lost.

"There's more interest in Mesopotamian archaeology now than there ever has been," says archaeologist Paul Zimansky of Boston University. "That energy could be harnessed."

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