Saturday, April 19, 2003
At least some Iraqi museum pieces are going home, it seems.
Prodded by Muslim clerics and guilty consciences, Baghdad residents returned 20 looted pieces from Iraq's ransacked national collection holding some of the earliest artifacts of civilisation. [...]
Baghdad's imams, encouraged by museum operators, had urged the faithful to return works, Hilil said. Friday, the first ones did.
"They come and say, 'Sir, sir, look in the bag,"' said Army Lt. Eric Balascik, part of a US Army unit manning the museum gates Friday. "And you look in the bag, and it's a vase or something."
The returned works included pottery and metal pieces, Hilil said.
"It was their conscience that made them bring that stuff back. That was why they brought it back," he said.