Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Iraq Museum Reopens

The New York Times reports on the reopening of the Iraq Museum. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/world/middleeast/24museum.html?_r=1&hp

Unfortunately, politics as usual is at work. Under Saddam, the museum, its exhibits and its curatorial staff were used to butress the Saddam's claim to be the heir to Iraq's ancient kings. After the First Gulf War, the museum was closed to the public, but it became a backdrop for propaganda efforts which used Western archaeologists to try to weaken the UN sanctions. After the Second Gulf War, opponents of US Military action latched upon looting at the Museum to attack the Bush Administration's decision to go to war as well as the occupation of the country. Now, Prime Minister Maliki hopes opening the museum (over the objections of the Ministry of Culture) will help demonstrate to the World that his government has been successful in pacifying Baghdad. It remains unclear if the Museum will remain reopen for the enjoyment of the Iraqi public and when the museum will be brought up to international standards.

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