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Conserving Iraq’s cultural heritage

Babylon, Iraq
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Babylon’s remains date back thousands of years and were rediscovered by Robert Koldeway, a German archaeologist, at the end of the nineteenth century. Famous for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Babylon was also home to the Ishtar Gate, now in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. (...)

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WMF is currently engaged in a collaborative project with the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage to assess the conditions of the site and develop a list of priority conservation projects to stabilize the archaeological ruins. (...)

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Babylon represents one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. Babylon’s fame extends beyond the fact that the site dates to a time more than 4,000 years ago. Babylon achieved military fame, was the capital of a vast ancient empire, and contributed greatly to our knowledge of the ancient world through the study of the Code of Hammurabi, an eighteenth-century B.C. (...)

Syndicate content
Crews Work to Save Babylon
CNN, Thursday, June 18, 2015
Angst um Babylon (video, German), Tuesday, March 10, 2015
Race in Iraq and Syria to Record and Shield Art Falling to ISIS
The New York Times, Sunday, March 8, 2015
Efforts Under Way to Restore Babylon's Glory
Al-Jazeera, Monday, February 20, 2012
After Ravages of Time and War, Triage to Save Babylon
The New York Times, Sunday, January 2, 2011
War-Zone Archaeologists Saving Babylon
ABC News, Friday, August 6, 2010
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The Future of Babylon
Wallpaper: The Future of Babylon
The Future of Babylon
Wallpaper: The Future of Babylon
World Monuments FundDocumenting Iraqi Kurdistan’s heritage during a time of conflict
September, 2015

In 2013, World Monuments Fund developed a cultural heritage conservation and management program to engage U.S. university faculty with Iraqi and Kurdish professionals. In 2015, the program, sponsored by the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, focused on equipping students with the latest digital tools and techniques to document Iraqi Kurdistan’s heritage, which is particularly relevant given the threats posed by the Islamic State to cultural heritage.

Brian Wimer, Amoeba Films

World Monuments FundLisa Ackerman on Al Jazeera America Discussing Babylon
May, 2015

WMF’s Lisa Ackerman was a guest on Al Jazeera America on Tuesday, April 28, 2015, to discuss Babylon and the destruction of cultural, historical, and archeological heritage.

Source: Al Jazeera America

World Monuments FundCultural Heritage Conservation and Management Training Program 2014-2015
January, 2015

In 2013, World Monuments Fund developed a cultural heritage conservation and management program to engage U.S. university faculty with Iraqi and Kurdish professionals. During the January 2015 session in Sulaimaniyah, participants considered a variety of approaches to heritage management planning and site interpretation with particular emphasis on the urban context. Practical coursework included training in digital documentation techniques and site visits to build on participants' understanding of cultural heritage.

World Monuments FundKurdistan Regional Survey
March, 2014

In November 2013, WMF undertook a survey of sites in the region surrounding Erbil, Iraq. The survey was intended to complement WMF’s program in Heritage Management, held at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage (IICAH) in 2013 and continuing in 2014. This video offers a brief glimpse into the region’s rich heritage.

World Monuments FundWorld Monuments Fund and the U.S. State Department
September, 2013

Overseen by the U.S. Department of State, The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation supports the conservation of cultural sites in more than 120 developing countries around the world. By taking a leading role in preserving cultural legacies, the program illustrates America’s deep and enduring respect for the diversity embodied in our shared global heritage.World Monuments Fund has been fortunate to work closely with the State Department on several recent projects, highlighted in this brief video.

World Monuments FundDocumenting Babylon
August, 2011

Since 2009, the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and World Monuments Fund have been working together to ensure that Babylon receives the conservation attention it needs. This video illustrates how we are documenting its current condition using new technologies such as digital photography, laser scanning, and GIS readings to find the exact locations of Babylon's structures, allowing us to create accurate maps of the ancient ruins.

World Monuments FundBabylon Site Management Plan Workshop
March, 2011

In July 2010, representatives from the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage were invited by World Monuments Fund to a comparative site management planning workshop in Turkey. During the workshop, they met with archaeologists and officials and toured several sites. The aim of the trip was to review management strategies of archaeological sites in order to generate data and ideas for the Babylon Site Management Plan.

World Monuments FundThe Future of Babylon
October, 2009

Since 2004, World Monuments Fund (WMF) has been working with the Iraq State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH). Today the primary focus of this collaboration is the development of a site management plan for Babylon, one of the world's most important archaeological sites. Working with the SBAH, WMF will assist in mapping the archaeological site, identifying essential conservation projects, planning for tourism management, and helping to begin the process of readying the site for local and international tourists, which will include the eventual reopening of the site's two museums. This five-minute video, narrated by Gina Haney and Jeff Allen, WMF Babylon Project Coordinators, details WMF’s site management plan for Babylon, a blueprint for working on the site today as well as planning for the future.