Thursday, June 12, 2003
Warka or Iruk Vase
From the Friday June 13 issue of ArtDaily.com:
The U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) has announced that the Vase of Warka, one of the most treasured antiquities looted from Baghdad’s famed museum after the U.S.-led war on Iraq, was safely returned on Thursday.
The vase dates from 3200 BC and was returned by three Iraqis in a car. The Iraqis handed the vase, along with other looted items to the CPA security staff.
The Iraqi men were met by ambassador Pietro Cordone, senior culture adviser to the CPA, who was at the museum when the work was returned. Cordone thanked the men for returning the vase.
According to an AP report posted on the New York Times website at 3:02 PM EDT:
The sacred Vase of Warka...was returned unceremoniously Thursday in the trunk of a car...Three men gave the pieces to security staff at the central Baghdad museum...the men arrived unexpectedly...The [Coalition Provisional] authority did not identify them.
Monday's nutty Washington Post report (see June 9th post) described the vase as being "bolted to a podium...looters breached the glass case and ripped the vase from its base".
It would seem likely that the vase is damaged.
Doesn't it seem a bit odd that three Iraqi drive up, turn the most famous missing Iraqi antiquity out of their car's trunk, present it to a Coalition "senior culture advisor" no less who just happened to be nearby and then discretely exit without being asked pertinant information such as their identities?