The Jewish Archive Being Returned to Iraq

I am very upset with this news. The archive belongs to Jews, not to the Iraqis that persecuted them and either killed them or forced them to leave the country. To me, it's a bit like saying "well done Mr Hitler, you gassed them Jews so feel free to keep the art you stole off them". The archive belongs to the families - if they can be located - and if not, then it should go to Israel.

Iraq strikes deal with US for return of archives - AFP


  1. Well, the Ottomans drove away most Athenians from their city, reducing it from a fairly prosperous medium-sized city to a village, but apparently you seem to believe that they had ownership of the Parthenon and could allow Lord Elgin to chop it off and carry half its sculptures to Britain.

    Double standard?

  2. The Ottomans were conquerors, and not by and large, involved in ethnic cleansing. Also, the Parthenon was a public building and not private property confiscated by the secret police. No double standard. Apples and oranges.

    Best regards,

    Peter Tompa

  3. The Ottomans forced a large number of Greeks to flee to the West or convert to Islam to avoid special taxation imposed on rayas. You can't reasonably argue that the decline in Greek population (and more specifically the population of Athens) during the early Ottoman Empire was unrelated to Ottoman persecution.

    The Parthenon at the time when the Ottomans arrived was not a "public building" in general, but a Church which had been appropriated first by the Latins and then by the Ottomans. Conquerors certainly don't have a "right" to appropriate property, whether it belongs to individuals or organizations such as the Church.


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