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Iraq War remembered (but not the dodgy dossier) at Imperial War Museum North

Tony Blair will not feature heavily in this exhibition - rather, those whose lives were shaped and destroyed by the conflict

An exhibition marking the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq by US-led coalition forces is due to open at the Imperial War Museum North in Manchester this spring. The show (9 March-February 2014) largely sidesteps Tony Blair’s controversial role in the conflict. (The then prime minister supported the invasion because of intelligence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.)

“[The photo­graphic display] will explore how the war has shaped people’s lives, whether civilian or military, rather than focusing on Tony Blair,” says a spokesman for the museum. Images of the bloodshed will be shown alongside the museum’s permanent displays, which include Jeremy Deller’s Baghdad, 5 March 2007, the wreckage of a car destroyed in a Baghdad book market. The work was unveiled in 2010.

Meanwhile, 19 new sculptures and monuments are due to be erected across Baghdad this year—including a 21m-high statue in Firdos Square, on the spot where a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein once stood—when the war-torn city becomes the Arab Capital of Culture. According to Agence France Presse, the Iraqi artist Abass Gharib will unveil a permanent statue in place of the toppled Saddam sculpture. G.H.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Iraq War remembered (but not the dodgy dossier)'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 242 January 2013