15.10.2012 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

UNESCO hosts an open discussion roundtable on the Iraqi archaeological heritage.

The arch of great palace of the Sassanid King Shapur in the Parthian site of Ctesiphon © UNESCO 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 have been looted, and many have been bombed or damages by warring parties. Security concerns have also impeded access to areas rich in antiquities, and the supplying of equipment for conservation and restoration.

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.

With the aim to identify the current challenges and achievements in terms of safeguarding this precious heritage, UNESCO is hosting a round-table discussion open to the public in the Organization's Headquarters in Paris, France. To be held on 17 October at 14:00 GMT (17:00 Baghdad time), this round-table will bring together some of the most prominent Iraqi and international experts in the field to look at where Iraq stands today in the area of archeological heritage safeguarding.

For more information about this event please click here

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