The looted status of the stele has been well documented since the 1980s, but it wasn’t until this year that the FBI and Dallas Museum of Art collaborated to return the religious artifact.
In the past year alone, members of ISIS have marred cultural treasures in Iraq and Syria, taking sledgehammers and drills to statues at the Mosul Museum and delivering numerous blows to the ancient site of Palmyra, including its 1,800-year-old Arch of Triumph.
In my grandmother’s house, in the second bedroom, there is a drawer. Whenever we visit her, I derive a small thrill from opening it: the amount of random crap accumulated there is simply stunning. Pens and clips and crumpled-up paper — more misplaced miscellany than I can describe. This is the junk drawer.