2010 Candlelight Vigil

Saturday April 10, 2010 – Monday April 12, 2010


In 2010, SAFE began to refocus the purpose of its candlelight vigil so that in addition to being a commemoration of the looting of the Iraq Museum, it was also a reminder that worldwide threats to cultural heritage – from natural disasters such as the earthquakes in Haiti to manmade destruction like the razing of Kashgar – are ever present and continue to create obstacles for those who work to preserve our history.

The ransacking of the Iraq Museum provided the impetus for the founding of SAFE. In 2009, the museum did open briefly for officials and journalists. However, it is still not open to the general public. In keeping with the wishes of Donny George, former Director of the Iraq Museum, that we hold vigils every year until the Iraq Museum is open to the public.

“The evidence indicates that site looting in Iraq has been pervasive. Archaeological sites of all sizes and periods have been affected in the area covered by this study, with the focus of looting activity tending to favor larger sites and those dating to periods most likely to generate cylinder seals, cuneiform tablets, and, to a lesser extent, early coins.”

Professor Elizabeth C. Stone, Stony Brook University