Appeal on treasures of Iraq

Greece said yesterday that it was «a tragedy» that Iraq’s archaeological treasures were being looted and destroyed and appealed to Britain to try protect the antiquities. «Unfortunately, in the last few days in Iraq there is a threat against museums, the cultural treasures and the archaeological sites. It is tragic that the museums should be vulnerable, that the archaeological treasures and sites should be without defense against the danger of theft, plunder and destruction,» Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos said on Saturday. «As president of the EU’s council of culture ministers, I believe that immediate and urgent steps must be taken,» he added. Venizelos said that he could not appeal to the United States because it did not have a minister responsible for culture, adding that he could only appeal to his British counterpart, Tessa Jowell, «that she herself, through her colleagues in the Foreign and Defense ministries, get the British forces that are there to protect these cultural treasures.»