NATIONAL MUSEUM, BAGHDAD 2
National Museum, Baghdad
Looting in southern Iraq had already begun in the late 1990s and grew to alarming rates
by 2005 long after the national museum was secured. The United States, its allies and the post-
Saddam Iraq did little to address the source of the problem. Hamdani served two years for
protesting construction on ancient sites. He states that today’s principal threat is unbridled
development. Looting at archaeological sites has reduced as young archaeologists have drifted to
less controversial work as older archaeologists emigrate and retire (Lawler, 2015).
New generations of Iraqis have created an impressive network of museums across the
country. Although they know little about their ancient past, today’s Iraqi politicians prefer
Islamic fundamentalism, an enemy to secular archaeology. The tourism minister to Baghdad
oversees the board of antiquities and has reduced the board’s authority. He expresses his hostility
to foreigners and American foreigners are now forbidden to excavate in Iraq until a Jewish trove
taken by the U.S government is returned. The tourism minister also declared that the Germans
are also not welcomed until they return the Babylonian Ishtar Gate (Lawler, 2015).
The Iraqi government has taken steps in renovation its national museum with beautified
galleries that is protected by state of the art security and climate control systems. Despite all this
efforts and the money spent on lavishing the museum, it remains closed to few senior VIPs in an
attempt to protect it. The reason behind therestriction is to safeguard the new building from
another burglary attack.New elections could bring improved stability in the country and the
country’s leaders may see the countries heritage as a great asset (Lawler, 2015).