The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist - Large Male Figure with Inscription (Kh IV 126) (Recovered, Missing, Stolen Series)

Michael Rakowitz American

Not on view

This work belongs to an ongoing project that attempts to create full-size reproductions of every artifact looted from the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad following the U.S. invasion in April 2003. Some fifteen thousand objects disappeared from the collection, about half of which remain missing. Drawing on resources from the University of Chicago and Interpol, the artist re-creates individual objects out of commercial packaging and newspapers produced in the Middle East and exported to the United States for sale in areas with large Arab American communities. Their fabrication serves as a gesture of commemoration, while the use of disposable materials underscores the fragile history of the objects. Museum-style labels identify the works and their status as "missing," "stolen," "retrieved," or "unknown," while accompanying quotations from experts contextualize stories of loss and recovery as integral to the identity of the original artifacts.

No image available

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.