the time Asif Mohammed turned up for work yesterday
morning, the ancient contents of Mosul's museum had
vanished. The looters knew what they were looking for, and
in less than 10 minutes had walked off with several
million dollars worth of Iranian artefacts belong to the
2,000-year-old statue of King Saqnatroq II - one of the
forgotten Parthian monarchs - had disappeared from its cabinet.
Lying on the glass-strewn floor were the remains of
several mythical birds and an Athenian goddess, apparently
broken by the looters as they made their escape.