Iraq Cultural Heritage Initiatives

From 2008 to 2010, I worked for the Cultural Heritage Center in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. We enacted multiple projects (see below) for the preservation of Cultural Heritage in Iraq.

Iraq National Museum, Baghdad. Image source

Iraq Cultural Heritage ProjectThis multi-tiered project was developed by ECA’s Cultural Heritage Center in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage. Project activities included infrastructure upgrades to the Iraq Museum in Baghdad through refurbishment of the museum’s roof, 11 exhibition halls, 9 conservation labs, 3 floors of collections storage facilities, and installation of a new environmental control system. Other project outcomes included establishment of the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, and increased professional capacity in Iraq’s heritage and museum communities.

Walls of Babylon, Iraq. Jane Arraf/NPR. Image source

Future of Babylon Project: The U.S. Department of State is assisting with management planning, preservation, and educational development at the ancient site of Babylon, home to the “Tower of Babel” and Nebuchadnezzar’s wondrous “Hanging Gardens.”

Iraqi heritage professionals practice documentation and preliminary cleaning methods for museum objects after disaster. Photo: Jessica S. Johnson. Image source

The Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage: The Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage (IICAH) is a state-of-the-art educational facility in Erbil, where international experts are training Iraq’s museum and heritage professionals in the preservation of their national treasures.