22.09.2016 - UNESCO Office for Iraq

Visit to the World Heritage site of Samarra Archaeological City

The Municipality of Samarra

Samarra, 19 September  - On the occasion of World Peace Day (21 September), Louise Haxthausen,  Officer-In-Charge of the UNESCO office for Iraq, accompanied Gyorgy Busztin, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Political and Electoral Affairs for Iraq, on a visit to the World Heritage site of Samarra Archaeological City,  an emblematic site of Iraq’s early Islamic heritage in Salah-Al-Din governorate. In Samarra, they were welcomed by Salah-Al-Din Governor Ahmed Abdullah Abed Abed and Samarra Mayor Mr. Mahmoud Khalaf Ahmad.

Over the past 2 years, the site has been on the frontline of armed conflict. However, thanks to combined efforts by local and national authorities to protect the site against destruction and damage, it has remained intact.

The visit came in the context of renewed efforts by UNESCO, the Municipality of Samarra and the Governorate of Salah-Al-Din to work together for the protection, conservation and management of the site, including the al-Malwiyah Minaret and the archeological remains of the former capital of the Abassid Caliphate (221 H/826 AD to 279 H/892 AD). At the outset of the visit, the Governor announced the resumption of the partnership, which will be carried out with the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage in order to strengthen local capacities for the conservation and enhancement of the site along international World Heritage standards. UNESCO welcomed this announcement and expressed its eagerness to effectively start this cooperation.

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