Accession Number:



Cultural Property: Protection of Iraqi and Syrian Antiquities

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Congressional Report]

Corporate Author:

United States Government Accountability Office

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



U.S. agencies and the Smithsonian Institution Smithsonian have undertaken five types of activities to protect Iraqi and Syrian cultural property since 2011,which include awareness raising, information sharing, law enforcement, overseas capacity building, and destruction prevention. For example, the Department of Homeland Security reported coordinating with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies to open 18 Iraqi and Syrian cultural property casessuch as those regarding smuggling by individuals and international criminal organizationsbetween 2011 and February 2016. To enhance the capacity of partners overseas, the Department of State State, the government of Iraq, and others established an archaeological and cultural management training facility in Erbil, Iraq. In addition, to prevent destruction, the Smithsonian and others trained Syrian antiquities professionals to use sandbags and other materials to protect ancient mosaics at a Syrian museum, reportedly resulting in the successful protection of the museum collection when it was bombed.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Humanities and History

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]