Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Finally, some good news about the national historic treasures of Iraq, looted in the aftermath of the Anglo/American War:

A top British Museum official said yesterday that his Iraqi counterparts told him they had largely emptied display cases at the National Museum in Baghdad months before the start of the Iraq war, storing many of the museum's most precious artifacts in secure "repositories."

The official, John E. Curtis, curator of the Near East Collection at the British Museum, who recently visited Iraq, said Baghdad museum officials had taken the action on the orders of Iraqi government authorities. When looting started, most of the treasures apparently remaining in display halls were those too large or bulky to have been moved for protection, Mr. Curtis said.

Good news, indeed. I thought it was tragic (and totally avoidable) that while we were busy creating a New Iraq the Really Old Iraq was being loaded into trucks and shipped out of the country.