Activities 1976- 2002



1976: UNESCO supports the set-up of the Baghdad regional training centre for the restoration of cultural heritage. In collaboration with ICCROM.

1979: Iran/Iraq War

1985: Inclusion of Hatra site in the World Heritage List.

1986-87: Restoration of the archaeological site of Babylon. At the request of UNDP and of the Iraqi authorities, UNESCO provides technical assistance in the provision of materials.

1990: Renovation of Basra. A technical mission is sent to this historic city which has been the birthplace of the celebrated Iraqi poet, Abou Nawas, and of the first writer in Arabic, Ibn Al-Muqaffa.

1991: The Gulf War

1991: Iraq requests help to deal with illicit trafficking in cultural property.

1992: UNESCO appeals to key agencies to contribute to locating some 4000 cultural items stolen from provincial museums. In cooperation with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and the International Council of Museums (ICOM).

1995: The "Oil for Food" Programme: UNESCO focuses its efforts on the rebuilding of the system of education.

1995: Co-operation with INTERPOL, ICOM, the World Customs Organization (WCO) and the International Confederation of Art and Antiquities Dealers (CINOA) to prevent illicit traffic with Iraqi art, in particular from the site of Hatra. Publication of photographs and descriptions of representative items in collaboration with the Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient Iraq (Kokushikan University, Machida, Tokyo) .

1998: Return, with the mediation of UNESCO, of 54 cultural objects stolen from Iraqi museums.

1998: Renovation of the Baghdad National Museum. Renewal of museum’s infrastructure with the aid of the French Electricity Supply Board (EDF).

1999: Assessment mission for restoration of the Abassid Palace and of Bayt-al Hikma (Madrassa Alà’yà) in Baghdad and restoration of the ancient manuscripts housed in the Dar Saddam Centre.

2000-2002: Expert missions for restoration work at Hatra and preservation work in the ancient city of Ashur.

2001-2002: Return of the stone head of Medossa and of an Assyrian bas-relief with the help of Scotland Yard and INTERPOL.

2002: Appeal by UNESCO’s Director-General to the United Nations Secretary-General on behalf of the Iraqi cultural heritage.





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