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Iraqi National Museum Opened for a Limited Time

February 23, 2009

For a brief time earlier today eight of the twenty-six galleries of the Iraqi museum were open. This came about in spite of objection from many quarters—including the international scholarly community, the Museum staff and the Ministry of Culture. Chuck Jones at Ancient World Bloggers Group has the full details.

Like many of us in the field of ancient Near East history and religion I look back at the looting of the Iraqi Museum six years ago with profound saddness. For a brief period of time after the invasion it looked like there might be stability in the region, and dissertation ideas percolated in my brain.

Then came the looting, complete with the US military sitting in their tanks idly watching the chaos that ensued. Oil fields were apparently more important than 11,000 years of human history.Am I still bitter? A bit.

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