Kurdistan Culture Ministry is ashamed of
By Mariwan Faydullah Salihi in Erbil, for ekurd.net
Iraq’s ancient history in danger
September 10, 2009
Kurdistan region 'Iraq', (ekurd.net), —
Erbil’s Civilization Museum is a disgrace to
Kurdistan’s reputation, says Kanaan Mufti, General
Director of the Kurdistan Region Culture Ministry.
“I would be seriously ashamed to take foreign
delegations and guests there,” Mufti, the former
director of the museum, says.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is planning
to build a modern Kurdistan National Museum. The new
museum will be built and supervised according to
international standards, says Mufti. He adds that
the KRG will start the project in the first quarter
of 2010. The location for the ambitious project –
estimated budget not less than 25 million US dollars
– is still to be decided upon.
Erbil's main archaeology museum, in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Faydullah Salihi, www.ekurd.net
The Civilization Museum, located in downtown Erbil,
has not seen any major changes since its relocation
in 1989 to the current location. “The museum is in a
bad situation, acknowledges Nehayat Abdullah, the
current director of the Erbil Civilization Museum.
The rare and valuable artifacts are displayed in
halls without climate-control and alarm-system. The
numbers of surveillance guards are seven, but only
two are awake after 12 midnight.
Abdullah has high hopes of the new, national museum.
According to her, the new planned museum will be
like any other national museum in the world. “Ours
is focused on Kurdistan’s history, including the
civilizations of Mesopotamia,” she explains. Her
statement was also confirmed by Mufti.
At the end of 2009, Iraq’s first Institute of
Archaeology will open in Erbil. It’s funded by the
US State Department, the KRG and the UNESCO. “This
Institute is vital to our museum and archaeology in
general, in Erbil and the rest of Iraq. It will
teach and bring us new preservation techniques,
never used here before. Currently, our items are
unprotected. We don’t use preservation methods
here,” says Abdullah.
Erbil’s Civilization Museum, supervised by the Erbil
Antiquities Department, a subsidiary of the Tourism
Ministry has a collection of around 3,500 items. Its
artifacts are displayed in three middle-sized halls
dedicated to the Neanderthalers and the Stone Age,www.ekurd.netthe
ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia (Sumerian,
Assyrian, Babylonian and pre-Islamic Arabian) and
the Islamic Abbassid Period. The entrance hall is
dedicated to Kurdish folkloric items not older than
The capital of Kurdistan Region, Erbil, is located
350 km north of Baghdad. It is Iraq’s most stable
and secure area. They often call Erbil the next
Dubai, for the its massive new construction sites of
shopping malls, five-star hotels and luxurious
F. Salihi, freelance journalist / journalist
trainee at IMCK-Erbil. eKurd.net contributing writer. You may reach the author via email at: mariwan.journalist (at) gmail.com
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