Lawrence Rothfield


On his book The Rape of Mesopotamia: Behind the Looting of the Iraq Museum

Cover Interview of May 10, 2009

Editor’s note

Originally, this interview ran on the Rorotoko cover page under the headline

“How our military can build the capacity to secure cultural sites and institutions.”

We highlighted two quotes.

On the first page:

“I simply had failed to consider that policies, organizations, and leadership to protect cultural heritage might be so weak that the museum and sites could be left unsecured.”

On the second:

“There is no question that the same networks that smuggle antiquities are also involved in insurgency.  We know that Mohammed Atta, one of the 9/11 hijackers, tried to sell antiquities for the expressed purpose of raising money to buy an airplane.”