Sep 18 2012
By Basem Hussein
Azzaman, September 18, 2012
Burglars broke into the Nebuchadnezzar Museum in the southern city of Hilla, removing 33 pieces, an Antiquities Department official said.
The official, refusing to be named, said the burglars chose the finest artifacts in the museum, which houses artifacts recovered from ancient Babylon, situated a few kilometers north of Hilla.
Hilla is the capital of Babel (Babylon) Province.
The official said the authorities had no clue as to the identity of those who broke into the museum.
But the incident, which took place last month, points to the dangers facing Iraqi heritage.
Ancient mounds in southern Iraq, the birth of some the world’s greatest civilizations, are target of illegal diggers and smugglers.
According to estimates by provincial antiquities officials illegal diggings were taking place at some of the finest archaeological sites.
Most Iraqi ancient mounds are unguarded and illegal trade in archaeological finds is blossoming.
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