EUAM Iraq conducted its third workshop on the protection of cultural heritage Museums: The Casket of our History. The workshop ran for two days in Baghdad.
During the last decade, our world has witnessed a considerable increase in the destruction of cultural heritage due to armed conflict. This has been accompanied by the organised looting, illicit trafficking and sale of cultural objects that terroristic and organised crime gangs make a huge profit from.
The workshop aimed to strengthen collective efforts to preserve Iraq’s cultural heritage by illustrating the situation of Iraq’s museums and how to address the physical protection of these structures. This was done through presentations focusing on protecting, retrieving heritage as well as the challenges facing these efforts. It was clear from the discussions that progress is underway, that further improvement of registration of cultural property, information exchange and coordination of investigations all help pave the way for Iraq to utilise the economic and societal potentials of its cultural heritage.
European experts from INTERPOL, the Carabinieri Cultural Heritage Protection unit and the International Council of Museums lectured during the workshop. Several Iraqi senior officials from the law enforcement departments of the Ministry of Interior, as well as experts from the Ministry of Culture participated in the event. The participants praised the workshop for its content and highlighted the importance of sharing expertise and networking with de facto colleagues from different Iraqi institutions and abroad.
EUAM Iraq is the only Mission of its kind that has a Senior Strategic Advisor specialised in cultural heritage protection. Protecting cultural values, enhancing the Iraqi inheritance and preventing the root causes of extremism is a key factor in the stabilisation efforts in Iraq.