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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
Thousands of scientists in the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) are about to lose their jobs as a result of the...
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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After Long Hiatus, Iraq Museum to Open Its Doors
26 September 2011 2:18 pm
Following a looting spree during the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the famous Iraq Museum was shuttered and sealed. But Iraqi and U.S. officials say the Baghdad repository of 5000 years of Mesopotamian history will reopen by year's end.
That's good news for archaeologists. "It's a great idea," says John Russell, an archaeologist at Boston's Massachusetts College of Art and Design. "The museum has good security and Baghdad seems fairly stable."
Founded in the 1920s by British adventurer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell, the museum contains more than 100,000 objects and is considered one of the world's finest collections of ancient artifacts. But when U.S. troops arrived in Baghdad in 2003, looters ransacked the offices and storerooms, stealing thousands of objects. Many, such as the 5000-year-old stone mask called the Lady of Warka, were returned, and other priceless pieces had been hidden by museum officials before the invasion. But more than a thousand objects, including small and portable cylinder seals, remain at large.
Iraqi officials told media in Baghdad last week that the institution will reopen in November, and U.S. embassy officials there confirmed that the Iraqis intend to allow the public access within the next 2 or 3 months. The United States contributed more than $9 million to renovate a dozen halls in recent years, and the Italian government also contributed to the renovation effort. New climate control and security systems will protect the collection.