Basrah Museum opens three new galleries in Saddam Hussein's former palace


We are proud to have supported the development of three new galleries in the Basrah Museum, Iraq, that opened 19 March 2019.

This marks the completion of a project to refurbish all major exhibition space at the complex, transforming a former presidential palace built by Saddam Hussein into a public space celebrating the heritage of the Basrah region and nation of Iraq.

Dragonfly’s Hugo Clarke, Director of Government Services and Trustee of the Friends of the Basrah Museum, has been directly involved with this project from its inception and is passionate about its development.

Hugo commented: “It is only right that such a building should be recast to put Iraq’s deep heritage on display, not only to the local and national community but to the international community as well.

Friends of Basrah Museum is a UK registered charity founded in 2010 to assist with the establishment of a new museum in Basrah. The museum is dedicated to the archaeological and historical inheritance of Basrah in particular and Iraq in general and to foster the study of the cultural heritage of southern Iraq.

Basrah museum currently attracts around 50,000 visitors a year, including many school groups, and the expansion will further boost numbers and interest in the country.

The new galleries cover Sumer, Assyria and Babylonia, with around 1,200 objects on view including statues, cylinder seals, tablets and jewellery dating back to 3000 BCE. This latest phase of the project was financed by the Cultural Protection Fund, managed by the British Council.




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