Iraqi Looting Update

Almost exactly a month ago we briefly discussed an article appearing in the Art Newspaper, and later echoed in the Wall Street Journal and elsewhere, that addressed the persistent reports of “widespread looting and massive damage . . . at the archaeological sites of southern Iraq.” The report of a recent visit to certain targeted sites by an international team of experts implied more cause for optimism than previous estimates of damage had suggested. Subsequent evidence and discussion, however, particularly this article on “The Devastation of Iraq’s Past” appearing in the New York Review of Books for August 14th, indicates that any such optimism must be tempered.

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