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Colonel Matthew Bogdanos (Ματθαίος Βογδάνος) is an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan (since 1988), author, and a colonel in the United States Marine Corps Reserves. In 2003, while on active duty in Marine Corps, he led the investigation into the looting of Iraq's National Museum, and was subsequently awarded the National Humanities Medal for his efforts. He had previously gained national attention for the prosecution of Sean Combs, who was acquitted of weapons and bribery charges in a 2001 trial stemming from a 1999 nightclub shootout.


Bogdanos is a native New Yorker who attended Don Bosco Preparatory High School and waited tables in his family’s Greek restaurant while growing up in lower Manhattan.[2]
In Babylon in April 2003

In November 2005, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush. [3][4] Has also received the 2004 Public Service Award from the Hellenic Lawyers of America, the 2006 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Washington DC Historical Society, and a 2007 Proclamation from the City of New York.[5] Released back into the Marine Reserves in October 2005, he returned to the District Attorney’s Office, and continues the hunt for stolen antiquities.[6] A former middleweight boxer with a record of 23-3, he still boxes for the New York City Police Department’s Widows and Children’s Fund.[7]
Receiving National Humanities Medal in 2005

"Joint Interagency Coordination Groups: The First Step" (PDF). Joint Force Quarterly. March 2005.

"Casualties of War: Truth and the Iraq Museum". American Journal of Archaeology. April 2005.

Thieves of Baghdad is his first-hand account of his journey to recover Iraq’s lost treasures. His royalties from the sale of the book go to the Iraq Museum.

Bogdanos, Matthew; William Patrick (2005). Thieves of Baghdad: One Marine’s Passion for Ancient Civilizations and the Journey to Recover the World’s Greatest Stolen Treasures. Bloomsbury USA. ISBN 1582346453.

"The Terrorist in the Art Gallery (Op-Ed)". New York Times. December 10, 2005.

"Interagency Operations: The Marine Specialty of this Century". Marine Corps Gazette. March 2006.

"Fighting for Iraq’s Culture (Op-Ed)". New York Times. March 6, 2007.


Bronze oak leaf cluster
Bronze oak leaf cluster

Bronze star
Bronze star
Bronze star

Bronze star

Bronze star
Bronze star

1st Row Defense Superior Service Medal Bronze Star
2nd Row Defense Meritorious Service Medal Meritorious Service Medal Joint Service Commendation Medal Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal
3rd Row Joint Service Achievement Medal Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal Joint Meritorious Unit Award w/ 2 oak leaf clusters Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation w/ 1 service star
4th Row Selected Marine Corps Reserve Medal w/ 2 service stars National Defense Service Medal w/ 1 service star Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal
5th Row Iraq Campaign Medal Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal
6th Row Navy Sea Service Deployment Ribbon w/ 1 service star Navy & Marine Corps Overseas Service Ribbon w/ 2 service stars Marine Corps Recruiting Ribbon Armed Forces Reserve Medal

On May 7, 2011, Bogdanos was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in recognition of his humanitarian efforts.

National Museum of Iraq


^ "Puff Daddy on Trial: The Players". Court TV Online. February 13, 2001. Archived from the original on 2008-04-18. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
^ Richardson, Clem. "Modern Treasure Hunter", Daily News (New York), January 3, 2005. Accessed February 22, 2011. "The Don Bosco Preparatory School graduate chose Bucknell University, and joined the Marines on Jan. 15, 1977, the second semester of his freshman year. 'They left me alone during the school year,' Bogdanos said. 'In the summers, I went to Officers Candidate school.'"
^ "Recovering History,".
^ “President Bush To Award The 2005 National Humanities Medals,” "National Humanities Awards, 2005".
^ “Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program,” "Cultural Resources Update, 2007".
^ McClelland, Eileen (Houston Chronicle) (March 17, 2006) “Treasure Hunter.”
^ Hunter, Karen (New York Daily News) (March 17, 2001). “Prosecutor’s Bloody but Unbowed.”


Renée Montagne. National Public Radio interview. "Chasing Down History and the 'Thieves of Baghdad".

Bruce Cole. Interview by the Director of the National Endowment for the Humanities. "Treasure Hunting in Baghdad - A Conversation with Matthew Bogdanos".

Hobson, Katherine. US News & World Report. "P.S. Do you have the Ark?".

"Starred Review: Thieves of Baghdad". Publishers Weekly. April 2003. Retrieved 2007-12-19. Book review with short author profile.

Kennicott, Philip (January 22, 2006). "Book World: Thieves of Baghdad". Washington Post.

Rose, Mark (January/February 2004). "Conversations: Building Trust in Iraq". Archaeology 57 (1). Retrieved 2007-12-19. "A Manhattan D.A. recalls his investigation of the Baghdad museum looting"

Zavis, Alexandra (Associated Press) (May 12, 2003). "Profile: Matthew Bogdanos". Guardian Unlimited. "An eclectic colonel who once prosecuted P Diddy - and lost - is now hunting down Iraq's lost antiquities"

External links

Bogdanos, Matthew (June 17, 2009). Matthew Bogdanos. Interview with Allan Wolper. Conversations with Allan Wolper. WBGO. Retrieved 2009-07-27.
Bogdanos, Matthew (October 1, 2003). Recovering History. Interview with Jeffrey Brown. NewsHour. PBS. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
Bogdanos, Matthew (December 9, 2005). Chasing Down History and the 'Thieves of Baghdad'. Interview with Renée Montagne. Morning Edition. NPR. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
Gugliotta, Guy (November 8, 2005). "Looted Iraqi Relics Slow To Surface:Some Famous Pieces Unlikely to Reappear". Washington Post: p. A01. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
Swain, Jon (November 25, 2007). "Reopening of looted museum signals a calmer Baghdad". The Sunday Times (UK). Retrieved 2007-12-19.

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