Tuesday, 08 August 2017 09:41

UNESCO closed the project for "Preventive Conservation of Iraq's Museum Collections and "Cultural Heritage Sites at Imminent Risk" and launched the "Response Plan for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Liberated Areas of Iraq"

Baghdad, 3 August 2017 – On the occasion of the closing ceremony of the project for "Preventive Conservation of Iraq's Museum Collections and Cultural Heritage Sites at Imminent Risk", funded by Japan (USD 1.5 million), UNESCO and Ministry of Culture of Iraq jointly launched the "Response Plan for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Liberated Areas of Iraq".

"This Response Plan is now the road map for spearheading recovery and rehabilitation of cultural heritage in the liberated areas", said Feryad Rawanduzi, Minister of Culture of Iraq, adding that the Response Plan was informed by the recommendations of the International Coordination Conference for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage in Liberated Areas of Iraq", co-convened by the Ministry of Culture and UNESCO in February 2017.

"The Response Plan that we are launching today puts the recovery of Iraq's cultural heritage at the heart of future reconstruction and reconciliation efforts… Our message is clear: cultural heritage protection and conservation cannot be done in isolation. Culture must be a driver and an enabler of development and peace in Iraq", said Louise Haxthausen, Director and Representative of UNESCO to Iraq. She thanked the Government of Japan for its generous support, through which UNESCO has been able to address over the past two years the cultural emergency in Iraq as an integral part of humanitarian and stabilization efforts.

The event was also the occasion to handover the equipment provided through the project to the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage. "Conserving Iraqi cultural heritage and passing it on to the next generation is extremely important, not only for Iraq but for the entire world as well. In this regard, Japan has contributed to this field aiming for preservation of cultural heritage by Iraqi people and for Iraqi people through training programmes and financial aid", said Fumio Iwai, Ambassador of Japan to Iraq.

Qais Rasheed, Vice-Minister of Culture for Tourism and Antiquities Affairs thanked the Government of Japan for its unfailing support in the recovery and rehabilitation of cultural heritage in Iraq since 2003, and, UNESCO for its technical assistance throughout. "Through the project, the first emergency protection measures have been implemented at a site devastated by Daesh, namely the archaeological site of ancient Nimrud", said Qais Rasheed. "…we hope that recovery in the liberated areas will start soon; the recovery of cultural heritage cannot be separated from the recovery of people."

The project "Preventive Conservation of Iraq's Museum Collections and Cultural Heritage Sites at Imminent Risk" aims at contributing to the protection of the Iraq's cultural heritage, through the provision of technical assistance and capacity building to the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage for the reinforcement of its monitoring and protection measures for sites and museum collections. Through the project, several activities have been carried out including training, monitoring and documentation of cultural heritage sites, emergency activities at sites at risk, and delivery of pertinent equipment.

For more information, contact:
Mr. Dhea Subhee, Public Information Officer, UNESCO Office for Iraq
Tel.: +964 078 2783 2739; Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Additional Info

  • Agency: UNESCO

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