Partial Reopening of the Iraq Museum, Work in Progress

March 27, 2006 Roberto Parapetti IW&A Documents, 8

In November 2005, works for the reopening of the Iraq Museum moved the first steps.

The project was launched (among others for the rehabilitation of the Iraqi cultural
heritage) already in 2003 according to an agreement between the State Board of
Antiquity and Heritage of Iraq and Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino,
aiming at providing Iraqi citizens and visitors with the starting signal of a
reconstruction process of the national identity through the re-conquest of their
cultural heritage.

--- Before installing the casing

In order to assure the highest security conditions on a medium-short term basis, the
project foresees the re-opening of a few exhibition areas, where unmovable artefacts
are already exposed, excluding those which were originally exhibited in show-cases.
Therefore, the gallery of the monumental Assyrian sculpture from Nimrud and Khorsabad,
and the Islamic hall that gathers a rich repertory of the architectural decoration,
seemed to be the most appropriate spaces for the implementation of the project.
Besides the above mentioned halls, the main porticoed courtyard was considered
suitable for the exhibition of samples of Parthian sculptures from Hatra that, since
1991, were transferred, for safety reasons, to the Iraq Museum, but not exhibited.

--- After installing the casing

At present, the project, financed by Italian sponsors (Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Ministry of Cultural Activities, Foundation of the National Bank of Communications),
reached the stage of securing the monumental sculptures in the Assyrian hall, by creating
a solid casing around them, during the new presentation operations (new lighting system,
new panelling and new architectural framing of the Khorsabad gigantic marble winged bulls).

Roberto Parapetti

Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino

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