Iraq displays stolen artifacts recovered from UK, Sweden

Iraq displays stolen artifacts recovered from UK, Sweden
Recently recovered antiquities are displayed at the foreign ministry, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 29, 2019. The artifacts paraded Monday include archaeological and historical pieces recovered from Britain and Sweden, pottery fragments and shards with writing dating back to the ancient Sumerian civilization. Iraq is putting a great effort to restore its lost rich cultural heritage after it was decimated during the chaos that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

Iraqi officials are displaying stolen artifacts from the country's rich cultural heritage that were recently recovered from Britain and Sweden.

Many from Iraq, home of the ancient "fertile crescent" considered the cradle of civilization, were looted during the chaos that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion and whisked out of the country.

Now Iraq is making a massive effort to bring these pieces home, working closely with the U.N. cultural organization.

The on display Monday at the in Baghdad include archaeological and historical items, such as pottery fragments and shards with writing dating back at least 4,000 years to the ancient Sumerian civilization.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hakim said his country is determined to recover its lost heritage, whatever it takes.

  • Iraq displays stolen artifacts recovered from UK, Sweden
    Recently recovered antiquities are displayed at the foreign ministry, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 29, 2019. The artifacts paraded Monday include archaeological and historical pieces recovered from Britain and Sweden, pottery fragments and shards with writing dating back to the ancient Sumerian civilization. Iraq is putting a great effort to restore its lost rich cultural heritage after it was decimated during the chaos that followed the 2003 U.S. invasion. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)
  • Iraq displays stolen artifacts recovered from UK, Sweden
    Rory Robertshaw, center, UNESCO Senior Project Officer in Iraq, addresses reporters during a press conference about recently recovered antiquities at the foreign ministry, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, July 29, 2019. The artifacts paraded Monday include archaeological and historical pieces recovered from Britain and Sweden, pottery fragments and shards with writing dating back to the ancient Sumerian civilization. The restoration of Iraq's cultural heritage is now gaining momentum and UNESCO is working closely with the Iraqi authorities. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

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Jul 30, 2019
For every item recovered, how many are lost? How well can we understand these items and the civilizations that created them when they're stripped of their exact archaeological context and simply recovered from the black market? This is a tragedy for humanity and western civilization, our most ancient memories being erased.

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