Four years and one week ago, between April 10th and 12th 2003, the Iraq National Museum was broken into, looted and a lot of old and valuable things were destroyed. The group SAFE (Saving Antiquities for Everyone) issued a call for candlelight vigils to be held. So, last week FLIF hosted such an event. Sadly, I was unable to attend, but I wanted to post about it because (a) I should have last week (please forgive me fellow FLIFers) and (b) I think that it is important for us to recognize that this kind of stuff is going on. Furthermore, the looting is being supported by buyers. People are buying illegally obtained national and historical treasures. And, many of those people are getting awya with it.
The destruction is terrible too (though, I have noted that looting garners more attention then damage done because of bombs and such - I guess no one wants to admit that they and their bombs are just as much at fault). At least when an item is stolen, it still exists somewhere. There's still hope that it will find its way back to where it belongs. But, when it is destroyed, then we lose a vluable piece of history. Not just that of Iraq, but of the world.
Hopefully the candlelight vigils will bring awareness to the masses - let them know that there is a whole lot more to Iraq then alledged terrorists and desert and humble little villages. There was also a history, a culture, and intellectual thread that deserves to be preserved.