UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006 Page: 37
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ada Shabout calls it "the museum that the
world seems to have forgotten." She has set
out to save the memories.
Known as one of the world's leading
authorities on contemporary Iraqi art, she
has dedicated herself to documenting
artwork missing and stolen from the Iraqi
Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad,
damaged by fire and looting after bombings
An assistant professor of art history at
the University of North Texas, Shabout is
venturing into dangerous territory to save a
part of Iraqi culture and history that might
otherwise disappear forever.
After bombings during the U.S.-led
invasion in 2003, looters struck the Iraqi
Museum of Modern Art, formerly known
as the Saddam Center for the Arts, cutting
canvases from the frames and using the
wood for fuel.
Sculptures ended up as bird cages on
balconies. Priceless works sold on the black
market for a few hundred dollars.
Looters also hit the Iraqi National
Museum, the home of ancient art and
antiquities. But the National Museum,
filled with Mesopotamian art that people
so readily associate with Iraq, received
attention, Shabout says.
The problem at the modern art
museum, she says, seemed to fall by the
The artwork cannot be proven missing
from the museum without proper docu-
mentation. And the longer the work is
Uwr RESEARCH 2006h 37
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University of North Texas. UNT Research, Volume 16, 2006, periodical, 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29777/m1/37/: accessed May 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.