Forbidden museum: Iraqis cannot visit their national museum

March 4, 2013 

In a detailed article published today in Al-Sharq Al-Wasat, one of the most prominent newspapers in the Middle East, Iraqi archeologist Dr. Lamia Al-Gailani described the tragic looting of the National Museum of Iraq in 2003. The first female archeologist of Iraq, a University of London research associate, also pointed out the failure to release any details regarding the criminal investigation that took place after the incident.   

The article also addressed the fact that the Iraqi National Museum has not opened its doors to the public, despite the fact that it has been ten years since the looting of the museum in 2003. The lack of funds to add security cameras and other protective measures to the museum galleries, and the failure to rehabilitate the building as a whole are to blame. The Iraqi officials who were interviewed in that same article agreed that it is “funny” in a sad way that the country cannot rehabilitate and protect its own national museum.  

Generations of Iraqi students and the public did not have the chance to visit their own national museum, which has been closed for more than 30 years. Since the early 1980s, only foreign dignitaries and government officials have access to the museum. In other words, the fate of the already excavated Mesopotamian artifacts in Iraq is being kept in a forgotten museum where no Iraqi citizens are allowed.

Al-Sharq Al-Wasat

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    This is seriously messed up and really sad.
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