Iraq Looters Were Expert Thieves

Marine Reserve Lt. Col. Matthew Bogdonos stated, “In the most remote corner of the most remote building, they went after 90 boxes of the most easily transported items. This theft ring had an intimate knowledge of the museum and its storage practices.” The thieves went into a little-known storage room that had thousands of small, ancient amulets, pendants and engraved cylinders once used by rulers and scribes to mark parchments. It appears that the number of works stolen is smaller than previously thought. Muayad Said Damerji, senior advisor to Iraq’s Ministry of Culture, said: “Every piece is priceless. The collection was as important to the world as to Iraqis. Many other collections have large gaps, and sothey compare nbsp; what they find to what we have here. You could tour the history of man from 12000 BC to modern times.”

Bagdanos said: “To know what is missing we first have to know what was here. But we have to start somewhere, so for now we are assuming that the things employees say are safe in a vault are indeed there.”

Dave Wachsmuth, a military investigator, said: “Nothing was touched in some areas, obvious things, except for a specific target. Someone had to have pretty good knowledge to make their way through this maze, in the dark, bring the right tools and hit these precise boxes. You may surmise that these people knew what they were doing.”

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Published in: on May 13, 2003 at 1:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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