BAGHDAD -- Iraq’s art museum will open this month for the first time since 2003, Abd al-Zahra al-Talqani, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, told RFE/RL’s Radio Free Iraq.
An estimated 15,000 pieces of art were stolen from the museum in the chaos following the U.S. invasion and the toppling of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
A room has been reserved to display artifacts recovered with international assistance.
The chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Culture and Antiquities, Mufid al-Jazaeri, said that the museum opening is an opportunity to launch a public awareness campaign on the importance of preserving and safeguarding the country’s cultural heritage and historical sites.
The museum will be made available on February 23 to scholars, researchers, and students and will be opened to the general public at a later date.