FBI’s #1 Art Crime: Looting of Iraqi Artifacts

National_Museum_Iraq

During the war, and in March and April in particular, many Iraqi institutions and archaeological sites were looted. Above is a picture of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad back in 2008. After thousands of artifacts were looted, the FBI was brought in to investigate and recover the priceless artifacts.

The Iraqi museum houses the heritage of the Babylonian, Mesopotamian, and Persian civilizations. The museum was closed for several years while the collection was being recovered. It officially reopened in February, 2015. Although many pieces have been recovered, it is estimated that nearly 10,000 relics are still  missing. One item recovered by the FBI was the Statue of Entemena.

statue of entemena

If you have any information about these stolen relics please call the FBI tip line.

1-800-CALLFBI

For more information on the FBI’s Top Ten Art Crimes:

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/art-theft#FBI-Top

 

Photo credits:

Federal Bureau of Investigation Art Crime Team, Public Domain, via Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) @ https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/art-theft/fbi-top-ten-art-crimes/iraqi-looted-and-stolen-artifacts

Photo of National Museum of Iraq: By Zzztriple2000 at English Wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Alexknight12 using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6793185

 

FBI’s Top 10 ART Crimes: #5 Van Gogh Museum Robbery – ARTWORK RECOVERED

Van Gogh, View of the Sea at ScheveningenTwo Van Gogh paintings were stolen from the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam in December, 2002. Two very determined thieves cut a hole in the roof of the museum to gain access to the building. Two of Van Gogh’s paintings were taken; The Sea at Scheveningen and Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen. Officials estimate the combined value at $30 million.

While the thieves were quickly caught and arrested a year later, the paintings weren’t recovered until September, 2016.

Photo credits:

Federal Bureau of Investigation Art Crime Team, Public Domain, via Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) @ https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/violent-crime/art-theft/fbi-top-ten-art-crimes/van-gogh-museum-robbery