"In the wake of Saddam Hussein removal" thousands of precious antiquities were looted or destroyed. I guess you could consider artwork the spoils of war. Its a terrible thing when war wreaks havoc on a city that is considered the cradle of civilization, the culmination of this war was due to the poor judgment of the bush administration. These priceless artifacts and literature dated back to 3000 BC.
Its understandable that in the process of war there are certain priorities that top the list, clearly these antiquities weren't on par with finding weapons of mass destruction. In my opinion these antiquities should have been a high priority. We have to conserve our history especially if they date back to the beginnings of civilizations.
In the article that i read it mention that the Iraq Museum employees made an effort to protect some artifacts by hiding them in cellars or any secluded areas, however the prying hands of the looters were able to attain them regardless of the courageous efforts of the museum staff to hinder them. Its incredulous to imagine the Iraq's own people ransacked their own heritage, to sell on the black market. However some of Iraqis own citizens have also assisted in tracking down these artifacts, that have been surfacing in Europe and the United States
The Article also mention that, up until now about 3000 pieces have been recovered from the 15000 that were stolen. Hopefully we learn the we must make it a bigger effort to protect culture and Heritage.