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Cultural Heritage: Iraq

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what support and funding his Department has made available to the Department of Antiquities in Iraq to counter looting of archaeological sites and artefacts. (150361)

My Department has not provided direct funds to the Department of Antiquities in Iraq to counter looting or archaeological sites. Instead, the UK’s response to the heritage crisis in Iraq has been led by its sponsored bodies. In particular the British Museum has:

provided expertise and training on conservation and site management;

sent two archaeologists to Iraq who were instrumental in co-ordinating the quick supply of a wide range of desperately needed materials and equipment to the Baghdad Museum; and

arranged and managed (with additional funding of £15,000 from the DCMS) a project that allowed three interns coming from the Iraqi Ministry of Culture to learn the skills necessary for the future management of the Babylon archaeological site.