"Iraq museum pays smugglers for looted treasures"
- "Iraq museum pays smugglers for looted treasures
From Arwa Damon, CNN
December 13, 2011 -- Updated 1647 GMT (0047 HKT)
(CNN) -- Iraq's second largest museum in Sulaimaniya is recovering stolen artifacts by paying smugglers to return the treasures.
Located in the semi-autonomous northern region of Kurdistan, the Slemani Museum has taken drastic measures to refill display cabinets following looting.
"The position of not just UNESCO but the international museum community is that we don't buy back looted objects because it encourages looting. Simple. Full stop," says Stuart Gibson, director of the UNESCO Sulaimaniya Museum Project.
"The Kurdish authorities took a very difficult and I must admit a very courageous position and they said we are going to buy these objects," he added..."
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