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Smugglers May Have Hired Baghdad Museum Looters

International art experts meeting in Paris say some thefts of ancient artifacts from Iraq museums were made on behalf of smugglers who hired the looters. Among the items stolen or destroyed are tens of thousands of examples of cuneiform -- the world's oldest-known form of writing. Baghdad's Museum of Antiquities housed 100,000 of the tablets, many of which had yet to be studied and translated. Hear NPR's Bob Edwards.

Copyright 2003 NPR