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Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

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Return of the treasures: BBC Arabic investigates the looting of Iraq's National Museum

Six years after it was looted in the wake of the US-led invasion, Iraq's National Museum comes under the spotlight of BBC Arabic television's investigative programme, Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq (The Fact-Finding Commission) at 19.20 on on Tuesday 15 December 2009.

In the immediate aftermath of the 2003 invasion, priceless antiquities dating back 7,000 years to the Babylon, Ur and Nineveh civilisations were plundered from Iraq's National Museum.

The restored museum was reopened in February 2009.

However, according to the museum's Heritage Department, only 7,000 of the 15,000 pieces of unique artefacts that were looted have been brought back.

In this episode of Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq, presented by BBC Arabic's Norma Hajj from Baghdad, the programme examines the efforts to return the stolen artefacts to the Iraqi nation, asks what legal measures are taken to stop their auctioning and discusses the security of the restored museum's treasures.

Norma Hajj is joined by journalist, Adel Alardawy; Professor of History, Ali Alnashmi; and lawyer, Hasan Sha'ban, as she speaks to Iraq's Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Dr Kahtan Aljbouri, and other Iraqi top officials.

Lajnat Taqqasi Al Haqqaeq is a panel of independent people who get to the heart of the matter by investigating various social, political and economic issues.

The panel calls expert witnesses and key commentators to examine their knowledge and capture their insights on the key issues.

Linked from London, the programme is recorded on location around the region.

For more details on the programme or to watch online, visit the BBC Arabic network's website,

Notes to Editors

BBC Arabic is the BBC's integrated news and information service for the Arab world.

It is available on air and on demand 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It is designed to reach audiences on radio, TV, the internet – on – mobile phones, PDAs and other wireless handheld devices, in whatever way best suits the audience.

BBC Arabic is both the largest and the oldest of the BBC's non-English language services. Launched in 1938, it has evolved into the Arab world's leading international broadcaster, covering the political, social and cultural issues that matter to its diverse audiences in the Arab world and across the world.

With its 24/7 TV presence, BBC Arabic is bringing the world to Arab audiences – reporting the news wherever it leads.

BBC Arabic breaking news alerts are offered via mobile operators as a subscription service in Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Yemen and the Palestinian Territories.

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