Photo courtesy of AFP/Patrick Baz/Corbis

Disfigured and abandoned, this turbaned head gives stark testimony to the devastation of Iraq’s National Museum in the aftermath of the war. During the second week of April, mobs of looters ransacked the museum, smashing some objects and stealing others. It also appears that professional thieves, under cover of chaos, made off with some of the museum’s most valuable artifacts. In “Plundering the Past,” Francis Deblauwe assesses the damage.