Iraq – Public returns to restored national museum after disruptions of unrest and Covid -19 fade in Baghdad

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Location: Baghdad – Iraq

Language: Arabic

Duration: 00:04:19

Sound: Natural

Source: A24 in Baghdad

Restrictions: A24 subscribers

Date: 02/10/ 2022

Storyline

Staff at The Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad welcome the return of the local public and international visitors.

The museum’s organizers told A24 they are delighted with the influx of visitors from Iraq and abroad, noting the museum still retains many artifacts that testify to the ancient civilization of Iraq.

Visitors to the museum enjoy seeing displayed ancient artifacts that testify to Iraq’s history of thousands of years of civilizations.

Jumana al-Samarrai, tour guide for the museum, told A24 the museum contains two million artifacts, all of which hold great significance and value.

The founders opened the Iraqi National Museum in 1923- two years after the country won independence from Britain. The facility boasts more than 20 wings covering the country’s history from 4800 BCE onwards.

It was closed during the American invasion of Iraq in 2003 after thousands of antiquities were looted and smuggled abroad.

Officials reopened this treasure trove of Mesopotamian civilizations in 2015, proud to have restored many damaged antiquities. However, the global Coronavirus pandemic forced them to shut down again in 2019, with visitors beginning to trickle in since they lifted restrictions in March this year.

Shotlist:

– Soundbite (Jumana al-Samarrai – Tour guide for the museum):

“Every artifact present in the Iraqi National Museum in the 29 wings is significant. We do not have unimportant artifacts; as they all hold definitional, international and cultural significance. There are more than two million artifacts and most of them are original, except for a few pieces found in the Louvre and other museums, which we made copies of using gypsum to be displayed in the Iraqi National Museum. The turnout is great. We as archaeological guides are very happy and proud to see such large number of visitors.”

– Soundbite (Umm Ali – Visitor to the museum):

“When I visited the museum in 1987, it was in better condition. It is sad to see what this country, the mother of all civilizations, has become. I visited museums all over the world, and found our monuments all over the world. We should join hands and build our country and our museums so we can show the world our history.”

– Soundbite (Abbas Abed Mandeel – Assistant Director General of Museums):

“The Iraqi National Museum contains collectibles of high artistic and historical value including masterpieces, which are the mainstay of authentic Iraqi art, such as Sumerian Lady of Uruk, Uruk Vase and the Assyrian sculptures.”

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