Iraq’s cultural heritage: Theft of Artefacts following the US/UK Intervention

A talk by Kryss Katsiavriades

Iraq has managed to sustain one of the most ancient civilisations throughout all of history, in great comparison with Egypt, who also happens to uphold one of the most ancient and culturally rich civilisations. Within the ancient Mesopotamian culture, multiple different genres and forms of arts were created, from Assyrian art pieces to Babylonian, all representing a certain aspect of the traditions and rituals that were sustained throughout the particular time frame of their creation.

Over 15,000 ancient artefacts were stolen from Iraq during the U.S invasion in 2003. The particular issue of stolen artefacts isn’t one that is only noticed within the case of Iraq. During the U.S invasion, more than 15,000 artefacts were looted, regardless of the arguments that the museums made in wanting to secure the area. Thousands of artefacts were also stolen, directly from archaeological sites, without knowledge upon their current locations now.  Only now are some stolen items being recovered.

Kryss Katsiavriades is a Londoner born to Greek Cypriot parents. He has worked most of his life for the NHS in computer programming. Kryss is now retired. He has a deep interest in history, civilisations and travel. He has travelled widely, most recently to Iraq. When he learnt in 2021 that is was possible and safe to travel to Iraq/Mesopotamia he took his chance. He visited Iraq for two months, taking photographs and researching the history of the ancient artefacts, many of which were stolen during the US war In Iraq. He will talk about the art work, the people he and his wife met and stories of travelling.

Chaired by Greta Sykes, who will comment on the protection of artefacts and means of recovering lost art works etc..