Poland apologizes for damage troops inflicted on Babylon

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From: Azzaman (Iraq), August 2, 2005

"The apology was delivered during a meeting which brought together Iraqi Culture Minister Noori al-Rawi and his Polish counterpart in Baghdad. The sides signed a cultural agreement under which Poland will help the country with archaeological excavation and preservation of ancient items. 'The apology was made during the talks,' Rawi said. He did not say whether Iraq has accepted the apology and whether the Polish authorities had agreed to pay for the damages." "Evidence of widespread damage is still visible throughout the culturally sensitive areas of Babylon." "Rawi, the culture minister, said the Polish delegation presented his ministry with two recent studies by Polish scientists on Mesopotamian archaeology. Other important archaeological sites around Iraq have also suffered from the U.S.-led war and occupation. U.S. commanders battling a bold and escalating insurgency are said to deploy troops on cultural and ancient sites in inside towns and cities. For example, U.S. snipers are reported to be using the ancient and spiraling minaret in Samara, one of Iraq’s most prized Islamic structures as a snipers’ nest." [I thought this was stopped long ago? see for example BlackAnthem April 4, 2005]; "Rawi did not say whether foreign troops in the country will adhere to rules issued [by] the Archaeology Department, one of his ministry’s major institutions. The department tries to forbid foreign troops from using ancient sites as bases of operations. It also demands foreign troops to pay for the damages they have caused to these sites."

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