|Iraqi citizens can now learn about how to preserve |
our past in this museum founded by Europeans
Iraq opened a new antiquities museum in the southern city of Basra on Tuesday with pottery, coins and other artifacts dating back more than 2,000 years [...]. It will showcase artifacts dating back to 400 B.C. that tell the history of the oil-rich city on the Persian Gulf. There are plans to open other wings that would exhibit Babylonian, Assyrian and Sumerian artifacts from across Iraq dating back to 3,300 B.C. [...] The museum is housed in one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces, which had briefly served as a mess hall for British troops after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that overthrew him. Al-Obaid said the location was chosen in order to "replace the themes of dictatorship and tyranny with civilianization and humanity." The museum was conceived in 2008 after the British withdrawal, and was partly funded by a U.K. charity. The hall that opened Tuesday cost an estimated $750,000, of which $500,000 was provided by the oil company BP, which operates in Basra.