I’ve already noted the American-led forces’ failure to protect the Iraq Museum in Baghdad from looting during the recent unpleasantness, despite clear warnings. <irony>But there is a happy sequel to the story, thanks to the vigilant efforts of a Joint Interagency Task Force</irony>. You can read a transcript of a briefing on the investigation of antiquity loss from the Baghdad Museum given by classical scholar Colonel Matthew Bogdanos, leader of the task force.
From the outset, the primary goal of this investigation has been the recovery of the items, the missing and stolen antiquities, and not necessarily criminal prosecution. The methodology was tailored accordingly, and it comprised four components. First was to determine precisely what was missing. Second was to disseminate photographs of those missing items to the international law enforcement and art communities to aid in interdiction and confiscation. Third was to initiate community outreach with religious and community leaders and enlist your aid as well as theirs in promoting an amnesty or no-questions-asked policy. And finally, to develop leads in the Baghdad community and then conduct raids based on that information on targeted locations.