Heritage at risk in Iraq


The exceptional archaeological heritage of Iraq - which includes such world-famous sites as Babylon, Nimrud and Ur - has suffered decades of neglect accentuated by war and insecurity as of 2003. Museums and sites like Samara Al Askari Shrine have been looted, and many have been bombed or damaged by warring parties.

However, thanks to a slowly improving security situation since 2007, archaeological excavations have resumed involving the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and international teams. Initiatives have been developed for the conservation and rehabilitation of some major archeological sites, to protect remote areas from looting and the illegal trade of antiquities, to ensure the restitution of cultural property sold on international markets, and train heritage specialists in Iraq and outside.

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