Conference on Countering Antiquities Trafficking in Iraq

A delegation of nine American specialists in the fields of federal law enforcement, justice, and cultural heritage protection visited Baghdad from December 17 to 20, 2012, to attend a conference on Countering Antiquities Trafficking.

At the conference the delegation trained Iraqi Ministry of Interior police investigators representing 15 provinces on methods of identifying Iraqi cultural heritage sites and preventing and investigating looting and illegal trafficking within and beyond Iraq’s borders.

The U.S. Embassy’s Assistant Chief of Mission Ambassador, James Knight, opened the conference stating that “Perhaps the most important reason for organizing a meeting such as this is Iraq’s unparalleled cultural heritage.

Preserving that heritage is to preserve some of mankind’s greatest treasures. Not only are they a precious window into the past, they are tangible reminders for future generations of Iraqis of a glorious history.”

Protecting archeological antiquities and assisting Iraq in recovering and restoring its smuggled artifacts is an important part of the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement, which calls for joint efforts to safeguard and preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage.

The conference, organized in cooperation with Iraq’s Ministry of Interior, was yet another demonstration of the United States’ commitment to assist Iraq in its efforts to protect its precious treasures.

(Source: US Embassy)

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