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News Item: 00090
20th Sep 2009
Iraqi art 'sting'
According to a report on the BBC website, the bust of a Sumerian king is just one of several stolen antiques recovered in an undercover operation by Iraqi police.

A local army commander said three men were arrested after trying to sell the pieces dating from the Sumerian period which ran from 2000 to 4000 BC. Major General Abdul Amir al-Zaidi said the arrests were made south-west of Kirkuk after attempting to sell one of the artefacts for $160,000 to an undercover intelligence officer. A fourth man is still being sought by police.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein's government in 2003, robbers stole valuable treasures from the National Museum in Baghdad and other institutions. The museums held collections from the Assyrian, Sumerian and Babylonian cultures that covered 7,000 years of civilisation in ancient Mesopotamia. Some items have been recovered but many are still missing.
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