Baghdad Museum Reopens 12 Years After Iraq War Looting
But the opening came as ISIS militants destroyed ancient statues in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
The national museum in Baghdad reopened Saturday, 12 years after thousands of antiquities were plundered during the early days of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Museum officials said almost 15,000 pieces were looted in 2003, according to Agence France-Presse.
Officials have been able to recover 4,300 works, but are continuing efforts to track down the remaining antiquities.
“We are still tracking down more than 10,000 artifacts in markets and auctions. What we got back were the most important,” Qais Hussein Rashid, Iraq's deputy tourism and antiquities minister, told AFP.
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“Today the message is clear from Baghdad, from the land of Mesopotamia,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “We will preserve civilization and we will track down those who want to destroy it.”
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