BAGHDAD, 26 June 2020 – The Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) and UNOPS launched a new project to support the Government of Iraq in the protection of cultural heritage and archeological research through the renovation of the Sumerian Gallery at the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, in collaboration with Ministry of Culture (MoC), and the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage of Iraq (SBAH). This is the first partnership between UNOPS and AICS in Iraq.
The project will support the Government in its efforts towards the realization of Agenda 2030 and more specifically contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 11 “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, by strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural heritage.
The reopening of the Museum by the Iraqi authorities signaled the importance of preserving and promoting the cultural heritage. Nowadays the Museum receives more than 30,000 visitors per year. The Sumerian gallery, located on the first floor of the Museum, holds around 600 artifacts. The project will aim at creating a proper space for the exhibition of the significant Sumerian artifacts, together with a modern didactical path.
It also aims at benefiting the population in Iraq as well as the international community as it will provide a better access to cultural heritage. In particular, SBAH and the Museum personnel will be supported in showcasing and exhibiting important elements of the Mesopotamian heritage in a more educationally enriching and captivating manner, using modern tools and techniques. The project will also indirectly support the capacity development of SBAH and the Museum personnel in effectively operationalizing and managing the access to and experience of the gallery.
“The Government of Italy is on the frontline to strengthening awareness on the importance of world’s cultural heritage and promoting its preservation, valorization and utilization as a catalyst of local development. Preservation of cultural property is strictly related to gaining recognition of diversity and cultural security of people and minorities, therefore our effort towards cultural heritage protection is a key step to building cohesion and fostering resilience”, said The Ambassador of Italy to Iraq Bruno Pasquino. “We are proud to participate to the rehabilitation of the Sumerian Hall of the Iraq Museum”, added Michele Morana, Head of AICS Amman “and to contribute to safeguarding the inheritance of the past and reinforcing the importance of Iraq’s cultural heritage to the identity of the Iraqi people and as a universal cultural value”.
“UNOPS is pleased to continue supporting the Government of Iraq and appreciates the generous contribution from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) to contribute to a better protection and promotion of the Iraqi cultural heritage and archeological research. We look forward to building on our strong cooperation with AICS and the Government of Iraq and delivering on the positive impacts of this important initiative”, said Muhammad Usman Akram – Director of UNOPS Operational Hub in Amman.