The director of national museum of Iraq has stated that the museum may reopen in April for the first time since it was closed after being partially damaged and ransacked in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion of the country.
On Wednesday, museum director, Qais Rashid said, "We've been working on rebuilding the museum in cooperation with Italy." The director added that the final step of the planned renovation would be the building of a new main gate, which will likely be completed in April.
According to Iraqi archeologist, Adel al-Azzawi, "The reopening of the grand museum – after it was looted and vandalized in 2003 – is great news for Iraq's cultural scene."
He also called for establishing more museums in all Iraq's provinces, citing the fact that the Iraqi museum could not contain all the country's antiquities. Established in 1923, the National Museum of Iraq is located in the eastern Baghdad neighborhood of Al-Salihiya. Elaborately constructed, it boasts some 200,000 ancient artifacts, including many pre-historic ones, organized into 18 halls according to their respective historical eras.