Baghdad’s National Museum Not So Looted After All


While we were all busy reporting on all the stories about Baghdad museums being looted and governments like the UK’s organizing scouting missions to find where everything went, there have been hints, like this story in The Art Newspaper from back in January, that no such thing ever really occurred. Now via Cultural Property Observer, we learn from the BBC that US officials have finally fessed up, saying that while administrative offices in the National Museum of Baghdad were ransacked, very few of the items in the museum’s collections were touched, let alone stolen, and that everything is pretty much a-okay. So, oops. We’re really not to sure why exactly this was a story reported on by every major media outlet way back in 2003, unless, hmm, it was maybe used as a distraction and a way to vilify the native population? Or journalists just saw empty shelves and decided it had to mean looters? Either way, eggs on faces all around.