National heritage in Iraq

After two successful workshops in Sulaymaniya about the national heritage in Iraq, IMCK organized a third one in Erbil, the capital of Kurdistan. The goal of the course was to inform a group of journalists about the necessity to raise awareness among the Iraqi population for the preservation of the national heritage. It is of great importance that journalists have a better understanding of the problems that historical sites in Iraq face and how institutions try to preserve artefacts. The participants visited the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage and attended a lecture by senior-trainer Khidher Domle in the IMCK training hall.

National heritage
Iraq has one of the oldest cultural histories in the world. Iraq is where the Ancient Mesopotamian civilizations were, whose legacy went on to influence and shape the civilizations of the Old World. Therefore Iraq has a very rich heritage. Ashur, Hatra, and the archaeological city of Samarra are three historical sites that can be found on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

But thirty years of war in Iraq, and the fast development of the Kurdistan region and other areas in the country are destroying the heritage. Buildings and shops are getting build on ancient historical sites. In the wake of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 people looted many artefacts from ancient sites. Hundreds have been returned, but still many more are missing. Also the archaeological site of Babylon suffers from deterioration and construction. In April 2003 a military base has been installed in the central part of the site. The Iraqi government together with UNESCO has prepared an overall conservation and management plan for the site of Babylon.

IMCK finds it important to inform journalists and others of these problems that are present in post-Saddam Iraq.  Extensive and correct reporting by media can help solve these problems the historical sites face and create more awareness among the public in this country.

See this documentary about what Iraq has to offer. And visit our Facebook for other information on workshops.


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