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Programme for the protection of Iraqi cultural heritage. 

Lyre, Royal Cemetery of Ur, 3rd mill. BC, UNESCO 2003

Within the implementation of the overall UN strategic approach for intervention in Iraq, UNESCO submitted to the UNDG Fund Facility a comprehensive programme for the rehabilitation of Iraqi cultural heritage, with a total budget of 5,555,000 USD over a period of three years. This programme has been approved in May 2004. Activities for the year 2004 will be funded.

The approved activities are fully integrated in UNESCO’s consolidated strategy to protect and rehabilitate Iraqi cultural property. They are as follows:

Main activity 1: Cultural Heritage at large

  • Review of National Law on the protection of Cultural Property and assistance to the Ministry of Culture in establishing a cultural foundation (2004)
  • Training for relevant government officials, cultural heritage professionals, administrators, police and customs officials, and museum officials, in the identification and tracking of cultural objects being trafficked, and in particular in the use of Object-ID inventories (2004) Follow-up

Main activity 2: Archaeological sites and historic buildings

  • Provision of equipment and material to strengthening the surveillance at archaeological sites and historic buildings and support the GIS sites’ database (2004)
  • Training for local professionals in sites’ conditions assessment and data collection for GIS Iraq’s sites database (2004/2005) Follow-up

Main activity 3: Museums and cultural institutions

  • Rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Regional Centre of Conservation and the Iraq National Museum premises in view of the re-opening of the Child Museum (2004/2005/2006)
  • Provision of equipment for museums, manuals and Arabic version of relevant publications on museums studies (2004/2005)
  • Capacity-building and training for staff working in Iraqi museums and cultural institutions, including study visits to museums and institutions in neighbouring countries and in Europe (2005/2006)

Main activity 4: Libraries and Archives Follow-up

  • Supply of equipment for the National Library and ten other libraries in Iraq (2004/2005)
  • Building of a computerized database for the National Library and development of an Intranet network for libraries (2004/2005/2006)
  • Training for professionals in librarianship and conservation (2005/2006)

Main activity 5: Intangible Heritage

  • Rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Melodic Institute in Baghdad (2004)
  • Safeguarding of Iraqi Oral traditions, including Iraqi Maqam music and archives (2005/2006)
  • Training workshops for Maqam practitioners, experts and researchers, in the manufacturing of traditional instruments (2005).

Donor: UNDG Funds Facility. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan earmarked 1,5 millions USD for this project.