HL Deb 07 June 2004 vol 662 c2WA
Lord Renfrew of Kaimsthorn

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What measures the Coalition Provisional Authority is planning to ensure the security of the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad and other museums and archaeological sites in Iraq after 30 June; and whether they will ensure that the provisional and the elected government have means to prevent a recurrence of the archaeological looting which took place after the Coalition Provisional Authority occupation of Baghdad. [HL2912]

Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean

The Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) believes that the security measures that have been instituted in the course of the past year at the Iraq Museum, Baghdad, will suffice to protect it in the months ahead. Security upgrades have been undertaken in the Mosul Museum. No other archaeological museums now contain original objects.

Archaeological site looting is still a very serious problem, especially in the south of Iraq. At present the coalition does not have the resources to guard archaeological sites. The CPA and Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage are working together to build an archaeological site patrol force.