Thursday, May 08, 2003

A partial correction:

We got pretty excited over the looting of the Baghdad Museum last month, and still think that the administration didn't give a rat's ass about it, but there are now stories coming out indicating that the damage wasn't as great as initially reported. From the Chicago Tribune:
The vast majority of antiquities feared stolen or broken have been found inside the National Museum in Baghdad, according to American investigators who compiled an inventory over the weekend of the ransacked galleries.

A total of 38 pieces, not tens of thousands, are now believed to be missing. Among them is a display of Babylonian cuneiform tablets that accounts for nine missing items.


The inventory, compiled by a military and civilian team headed by Marine Col. Matthew Bogdanos, rejects reports that Iraq's renowned treasures of civilization--up to 170,000 artifacts--had been lost during the U.S.-led war against Iraq. It also raises questions about why any of the artifacts were reported missing. ...
Unfortunately however, both the National Library and a repository of ancient Korans did burn to the ground, so those losses remain. And regarding the Baghdad Museum, there was damage to the inside as photos attest, so we'll have to wait to see if the "good news" about limited theft and vandalism is correct.


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