Protecting Iraqi Antiquities
Deblauwe, Francis, National Catholic Reporter
In the U.S. House of Representatives, Phil English (R-Pa.) has introduced the Iraq Cultural Heritage Protection Act (HR 2009). This legislation intends to provide for the recovery, restitution and protection of the priceless pieces of cultural heritage belonging to the nation of Iraq. HR 2009 is designed to close a legal loophole, which is a result of the current lack of a legitimate government in Iraq. This legislation would prohibit the importation into the United States of any archaeological or cultural material removed from Iraq without appropriate documentation after the imposition of sanctions on that country in 1990.
The U.S. Senate is considering a different proposal, the Emergency Protection for Iraqi Cultural Antiquities Act (S 1291). However, the House version provides better protection for the archaeological and cultural heritage of Iraq. To find out if your member of Congress is sponsoring the bill, go to thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/ z?dl08:HR02009:@@@P. The Baghdad Museum Project at www. …