Saviour of Iraq's antiquities flees to Syria(Again, via the Agade list.)
· Violence and Sadrists drive away archaeologist
· Looting fear as funds run out to pay protection force
Michael Howard in Irbil
Saturday August 26, 2006
Iraq's most prominent archaeologist has resigned and fled the country, saying the dire security situation, an acute shortage of funds, and the interference of supporters of the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr had made his position intolerable.
Donny George, who was president of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, achieved international recognition for his efforts to track down and recover the priceless antiquities looted from Iraq's National Museum in the mayhem that followed the fall of Baghdad in 2003.
But this week he revealed that he had resigned and was in hiding with his family in the Syrian capital Damascus. In an interview with the Art Newspaper, Dr George said Baghdad was now so dangerous that the National Museum, which houses a trove of Sumerian and Babylonian artefacts, had been sealed off by concrete walls to protect it from insurgent attacks and further looting.
Monday, August 28, 2006
DONNY GEORGE, president of Iraq's State Board of Antiquities and Heritage has reportedly resigned and left the country.