Art Pottery, Politics and Food
Friday, November 14, 2003
Treasure Tour?

Pre-war detail of Warka Vase

The Art Newspaper reports, this morning, that a possible World Tour for the gold portion of the Treasures of Nimrud along with the, likely reassembled, remains of the Warka Vase is being considered by the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.
With tremendous understatement the article says:

The proposal, which is backed by the US National Geographic Society, is likely to prove highly controversial in Iraq.

As I posted on October 28th, certain connected and wealthy Americans have a great interest in the Iraqi cultural inheritance.
And, as I posted on October 29th, The Art Newspaper has reported on an examination of the Nimrud Treasures by representatives of the British Museum.
This examination has revealed that the immersion of the ancient Nimrud artifacts, in sewage-breached vaults under the Iraq National Bank during the war, has severely compromised the integrity of the Treasure’s ivory component.
The eventual bacterial corruption of the ancient ivory treasures is almost certainly why they have been excluded from a glitzy World Tour:

The show could go to eight American venues, as well as to museums in Europe and Japan, and it might start its tour as early as next spring…The exhibition would bring in much needed funds for Baghdad’s National Museum and Iraq’s archaeological sites…if the Nimrud gold show goes ahead, the exhibits would probably be outside Iraq for years…British Museum Keeper John Curtis, who has been deeply involved in assisting colleagues in Iraq, is worried about the proposed show…Dr Curtis confirmed that no one has approached the British Museum as a possible venue for the Nimrud show.

Photo: The Art Newspaper
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