Heritage in danger, conference and exhibit

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The Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington, in collaboration with The Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino (CRAST), present “Heritage in danger. The Centro Scavi Torino and the requalification of the Iraqi cultural heritage”, a conference by Carlo Lippolis, President of CRAST and director of the Italian archaeological expedition in Tulul al Baqarat.

The Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino (CRAST) has been active in Iraq for over 50 years. Research and interventions in favor of the protection of the Iraqi cultural heritage of the country has never been interrupted. Immediately after the looting of the Museum in Baghdad (2003), CRAST initiated a requalification project for some of the main rooms of the Museum; at the same time training projects and classes started. In March 2015, these interventions have enabled the official reopening of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad.

More recently the Center resumed archaeological research activities in the south of the country and in April 2016 the joint Institute (Italian-Iraqi) of archaeological sciences was re-opened.


The exhibition illustrates some of the main activities carried out in Iraq, during the last 10 years, by the Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino (Italy).

The first section will be focused on the re-habilitation works in the Iraq Museum of Baghdad: a window on the past of Mesopotamia and the human history.

Despite the difficult political situation in the country, the works started already in 2006 and ended in 2013 involving almost the entire large ground floor of the building. In February 2015 the Baghdad Museum was officially reopened to the public.

Another project carried out is the reopening of the Iraqi-Italian Institutes, founded in 1969 and looted during the Second Gulf War. On April 2016, after a restoration of a historical building close to the Qislah (old Turkish military quarters), the Institutes reopened with the aim of contributing to the increasingly far-reaching safeguard of the Iraqi cultural heritage and to the archaeological scientific research.

Finally, since 2012, an Italian archaeological expedition is working in south-eastern Iraq (site of Tulul al Baqarat, province of Kut) with survey and excavation projects on an important but still unknown site with cultural layers from the IV to the I millennia BC.