Raising awareness of the threat to the cultural heritage of Iraq
This summer the 49th Rencontre Assyriologique took place at the British Museum from 7-11th July, with the theme of “Nineveh” and the MBI Foundation provided support for nine Iraqi scholars and museum professionals to attend the conference.
The Rencontre Assyriologique (RAI) is a yearly five-day conference, open to all those who are interested in Assyriology and Near Eastern Archaeology. In addition to lectures about Near Eastern studies presented by established experts and young researchers, the conference was also able to devote a session to the looting of museums, universities, and archaeological sites in Iraq. A report was also given on UNESCO’s and the Iraqi Departments of Antiquities and Heritage in Baghdad and Mosul’s work in seeking to prevent this.
This included a presentation by the MBI Foundation supported scholars as well as Colonel Matt Bogdanos of the Iraq Museum Investigation Team. The presentation highlighted the importance of Iraqi archaeology at a critical time in the nation’s history and shed light on the damage that had been sustained during the invasion and subsequent turmoil.