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Protecting Mesopotamian riches from U.S. ’mobs and Humvees’

Ali Sudani, Azzaman

144irak_300.jpg

January 14, 2008

 

There has been wide coverage of the tragic state of the remnants of ancient civilizations that once flourished on the plains between Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Most of these point the finger at U.S. occupiers and their actions which have not only devastated a modern state but also ravaged its wonderful ancient cultures.

 

A case in point is the ancient city of Babylon where the occupiers have opted to have one of their largest military bases.

 

U.S. commanders shamelessly claim that their heavy tanks, helicopter pads and barracks are based in Babylon in order to protect this crown of Mesopotamian capitals.

 

"This is exactly how thieves think," according to Zainab al-Bahrani, professor of archaeology and arts history at U.S.’s Colombia University.

 

Bahrani says the damage U.S. troops have inflicted on Babylon is "irreparable."

 

She says the troops have been shoveling the city with their heavy machines. "The occupation has inflicted massive damage to (Mesopotamian) history, much bigger than the damage it incurred on the museums and libraries that were pillaged and looted shortly after the fall of Baghdad."

 

To save the relics of our ancient civilizations of Sumer, Ur, Babylon, Nimurd, Nineveh and many other world-renowned cities from "the boots and Humvees of the (U.S) mobs, here are a few suggestions:

 

·          Setting up a supreme committee comprising prominent Iraqi archaeologists to draw attention to the artifacts that have been stolen and the ancient sites under threat

 

·          Calling on Iraqis to demonstrate against U.S. bases established on ancient sites such as Babylon and Nineveh

 

·          Formation of a special tribunal to bring to justice anyone involved in the looting, pillage or destruction of Mesopotamian artifacts and sites

 

·          Establishing of a special museum to house the pottery, seals, statues, figurines, plates, ivories and other items looted but retrieved. This museum should also contain enough information on those who caused the looting and the destruction.

 

·          Allocating a special budget for the formation of the tribunal, the museum and other means to protect ancient sites and relics through contributions form oil royalties and wealthy Iraqi individuals


:: Article nr. 40115 sent on 15-jan-2008 20:57 ECT

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Link: www.azzaman.com/english/index.asp?fname=news\2008-01-14\kurd.htm



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