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Media Advisory

Lecture on recovering treasures looted from the Iraqi museum

19 January 2006

ATTENTION: Education, general assignment reporters

Contact: Janet Gilmore, Media Relations
(510) 642-5685 jangilmore@berkeley.edu

A lecture by Matthew Bogdanos, the U.S. Marine Reserves colonel who lead the investigation into the looting of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad in 2003, on his effort to recover irreplaceable antiquities.

The University of California, Berkeley, event is being held in conjunction with Bogdanos' book tour, "Thieves of Baghdad," which chronicles his work in Iraq and the devastating and ongoing effects of the illicit global antiquities trade. It is being co-sponsored by the campus's Near Eastern Studies Department, Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Townsend Center for the Humanities, and by Saving Antiquities for Everyone, a non-profit organization.

Monday, Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m.

145 Dwinelle Hall, UC Berkeley

Bogdanos is a military reservist who has been an assistant district attorney in Manhattan since 1988. Called to active duty after September 11, 2001, he set out with a select group from an inter-agency task force to recover looted artifacts. He holds a degree in classics from Bucknell University, a law degree and a master's degree in classical studies from Columbia University and a master's degree in strategic studies from the Army War College.

Iraq has been home to some of the world's great civilizations, and its national museum boasts art from the earliest periods of Mesopotamian history through Islamic times. As part of its investigation, Bogdanos's team conducted raids, negotiated recoveries, set up an amnesty program, and tracked down leads from Amman and Zurich to London and New York. The team recovered more than 5,000 priceless objects including the Treasures of Nimrud, a world-famous collection of gold jewels and artwork. More than 10,000 pieces remain missing.