ARTS & CULTURE
01/26/2012 05:47 pm ET Updated Mar 27, 2012

Iraq's National Museum Recovers Lost Treasures

One largely untold cost of the Iraq war is the toll the instability took on the nation's art institutions.

Baghdad's National Museum, once so exclusive that it was commonly referred to as "Saddam's Shop," lost thousands of priceless items in the looting that followed the start of the United States' invasion of the country.

In the BBC video above, Jiyar Gol reports from a museum that's very much still trying to regroup.

Shayma Abdulqadr, a representative of the National Museum, said that loyalists of the Hussein regime used the museum as a bunker, from which they waged their resistance against the coalition forces.

Most of the museum's 28 galleries are still damaged, and some are in the process of being restored.

After the initial chaos of the war settled, the country sent letters to governments around the world asking that the pieces be returned. Five thousand of the 15,000 missing objects have been returned, primarily from European dealers.

The museum was home to some of the finest artifacts of early Mesopotamian civilization.

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