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Old 06-08-2003, 05:51 PM   #1
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famous Iraqi artifacts found!

You guys are probably sick of this but I think this is really good news!

World-famous Iraqi artifacts recovered
Baghdad museum pieces found hidden in submerged vaults
Sunday, June 8, 2003 Posted: 0545 GMT ( 1:45 PM HKT)



Artifacts recovered after being looted from the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad are shown in this May 6 photo. U.S. occupation forces said Saturday that more priceless artifacts have been found in good condition.

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Gallery: Iraq's National Museum after looting in April

Map: Iraq's cultural sites

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- The world-famous treasures of Nimrud, unaccounted for since Baghdad fell two months ago, have been found in good condition in the country's Central Bank -- in a secret vault-inside-a-vault submerged in sewage water, U.S. occupation authorities said Saturday.

They also said that fewer than 50 items from the collection of the Iraqi National Museum's main exhibition are still missing after the looting and destruction that followed the U.S. capture of Baghdad.

The artifacts -- gold earrings, finger and toe rings, necklaces, plates, bowls and flasks, many of them elaborately engraved and set with semiprecious stones or enamel -- were found Thursday when the vault was opened, according to an official of the Coalition Provisional Authority, the official name of the U.S.-led occupation force.

He said they were "largely unscathed," though it was unclear if the sewage water caused any damage at all.

The Nimrud treasures date back to about 900 B.C. They were found by Iraqi archaeologists in the late 1980s in four royal tombs at the site of the ancient city of Nimrud, near Mosul in northern Iraq.

The treasures, one of the 20th century's most significant archaeological finds, have not been seen in public since the early 1990s.

Nimrud, destroyed in 612 B.C., was the second capital of Assyria, an ancient kingdom that sat partly in what is now Iraq. The discovery of the treasures in the royal tombs surprised archaeologists at the time because members of the royal family were thought to have been buried only in the holy city of Assur.

"Early inspection of the pieces suggest that they are in good condition," said a statement issued by the provisional authority. It said a team from the British Museum will join Iraqi experts to find the best way to protect them.

Coalition official: Losses exaggerated
The coalition official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said at a news briefing that the number of artifacts looted or lost from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad was significantly exaggerated.

Of the 170,000 initially thought to be missing, 3,000 remain unaccounted for. These mostly are not worthy of museum exhibition and include items such as small shards of pottery.

The official said 47 main exhibition items are missing. A total of 64 pieces from that collection had been looted, said the coalition announcement.

The coalition official said one or two of the museum's galleries will open this month, but gave no further details.

"It is a great relief that so much of the museum's main collection is safe and in good condition," said Pietro Cordone, the provisional authority's senior adviser on cultural affairs.

But, he added: "There is no room for complacency. There are still important items that are missing from the museum's collection."

Since shortly after Saddam Hussein's government fell in April, a team of U.S. investigators has been cataloguing the museum's contents.

Some items found, others returned
Earlier this week, the team found another secret vault containing 179 boxes. Inside were nearly 8,000 of the most important items from the museum collection, the coalition said. It did not give the location of the vault.

Investigators' work, the coalition said, is nearing an end -- at least formally.

"Closure of the investigation does not mean that our efforts to retrieve the missing items will end too," said Cordone, a former Italian diplomat.

According to U.S. Marine Col. Matthew Bogdanos, head of the American investigation team, some looted items have been recovered under a no-questions-asked amnesty program, while others were found in raids.

The looting of the museum, home of Babylonian, Sumerian and Assyrian collections and rare Islamic texts, caused an international uproar. Many archaeologists blame U.S. forces, saying they failed to protect the institution in central Baghdad when they captured the city April 9.

U.S. military commanders have rejected the charges, saying the museum was not on the list of sites their troops were ordered to secure upon entering the city.
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Old 07-09-2003, 10:34 AM   #2
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I'm surprised no one ever responded to this...I guess it got filed away with "Jenin massacre".
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Old 07-09-2003, 12:12 PM   #3
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Originally posted by speedracer
I'm surprised no one ever responded to this...I guess it got filed away with "Jenin massacre".
We'd had quite a few threads on this topic. I thought people were probably tired of it but I posted it anyway. I was really happy to read the news because I was devastated when the museum was looted.
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Old 07-09-2003, 12:17 PM   #4
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I honestly missed it. GOod News indeed!
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Old 07-09-2003, 12:18 PM   #5
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Old 07-09-2003, 01:37 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by verte76


We'd had quite a few threads on this topic. I thought people were probably tired of it but I posted it anyway. I was really happy to read the news because I was devastated when the museum was looted.



There are about 10 people here on "war "these day`s. It is not on tv anymore.
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