Friday, April 10, 2015

A struggle to secure Iraq’s shared past, and perhaps its future

THE NEW YORK TIMES
By Michael Kimmelman
A visitor at the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad last month.
IRAN---Looted and shuttered after American troops seized Baghdad a dozen years ago, the National Museum of Iraq has officially reopened its doors — a response to Islamic State thugs’ taking jackhammers to ancient treasures in Mosul. The message was clear: Baghdad and its government belong to the civilized world, and the Islamic State does not. American officials even returned some recovered objects to show solidarity. But public relations are one thing, daily life in the long-suffering Iraqi capital another. The reopened museum looks hardly changed since the Saddam Hussein era, notwithstanding tens of millions of mostly foreign money ostensibly spent on its rejuvenation, which went who knows where. [link]