Iraq

Seven dead after landslide strikes Iraqi Shia shrine

The Qattarat al-Imam Ali shrine, a popular pilgrimage destination, collapsed on 20 August after rubble from a landslide struck its roof

Iraqi artists remove their works from Berlin Biennale over Abu Ghraib photography row

Sajjad Abbas, Raed Mutar and Layth Kareem say curators "prioritise the display of wrongly imprisoned Iraqis"

Iraqi artists decry Berlin Biennale’s display of photographs showing tortured inmates at Abu Ghraib prison

Artists Raed Mutar and Sajjad Abbas protested against the inclusion of Jean-Jacques Lebel's work and have moved their own pieces

Stolen Picasso painting 'worth millions of dollars' found during drug raid, Iraqi authorities claim

Work was in the possession of three suspects who have been arrested for involvement in the trade of narcotics

Archaeologists uncover ancient city and hundreds of artefacts close to Baghdad

Scholar says the new discovery is "significant" as 233 objects are sent to the Iraq Museum

Iraqnews

British tourist’s 15-year prison sentence for antiquities smuggling overturned by Iraqi appeals court

James Fitton, a 66-year-old retired geologist, had been convicted of antiquities smuggling after taking pottery shards from an ancient site

Art crimeanalysis

Jailing of British visitor to Iraq could jeopardise tourism and soft diplomacy

After years of conflict and sanctions, heritage trips have been taking off in the area. But potential visitors may be wary after geologist Jim Fitton was given a 15-year sentence for taking “a few worthless pieces of broken pottery”

New dam could drown ancient Iraqi city of Ashur

Having survived Islamic State, Assyrian capital is under threat once again

Climate change reveals ancient city in Iraq

Worsening drought conditions have extended the period when the 3,400-year-old city of Zakhiku is above water, aiding archaeologists’ efforts to study and preserve the site

Abdulamir Al-Hamdani, the revered archaeologist and former Iraqi culture minister, has died, aged 55

Hamdani, who served as Iraq’s culture minister from 2018 to 2020, played a vital role in rescuing, restoring and cataloguing the country’s ancient heritage

Babylon is coming back to life, with its famed Ishtar Gate to be restored by this summer

A new World Monuments Fund project in conjunction with the US embassy in Baghdad aims to repair Iraqi cultural heritage as part of the Future of Babylon project

Iraqnews

Iraq Museum in Baghdad reopens after three-year hiatus

Treasure trove of ancient Mesopotamian heritage—ransacked after 2003 Iraq invasion—was closed during anti-government protests in 2019

Iraqnews

Sculptures vandalised by Isis return to ancient city of Hatra after restoration

Artefacts had been "smashed into pieces" by Isis militants when they occupied the Unesco World Heritage site as a training camp

US customs agents return ancient cuneiform writing implements to Iraq

The millennia-old prism and tablet were found to lack proper paperwork—one after its owner’s death, the other following an online auction

Latif Al Ani, who photographed Iraq’s mid-century modernising, has died aged 89

The photographer’s images of a cosmopolitan Baghdad before the rise of Saddam Hussein have been rediscovered in recent years

Archaeologists discover 4,000-year-old ancient city in Iraqi desert

Ten teams from international universities and museums will visit the Dhi Qar region in October for further excavations

Mosul Cultural Museum rises from the ravages of Isis

Painstaking reconstruction by multi-agency task force is salvaging what artefacts remain after Islamic State occupation

Museum of the Bible in Washington returns around 5,000 disputed biblical objects to Egypt

Institution has been faulted for a lack of oversight in determining what artefacts were legally exported and sold

Mosulnews

Mosul’s artists, resurgent, speak out on new Google platform

Through videos, audio clips, 3D models of destroyed sites and images of their works, Iraqis describe what they endured and their hopes for the future

Aliph finances effort to shore up crumbling Taq Kasra in Iraq, the world’s biggest brick vault

Foundation will direct $700,000 to emergency scaffolding, sensors and the drafting of a longer-term conservation plan

German curator kidnapped in Iraq is free again

Foreign Minister Heiko Maas voices “relief” at release of Hella Mewis, an arts manager living in Baghdad who works to promote young Iraqi artists

German curator kidnapped in central Baghdad

Hella Mewis, who works to promote young Iraqi artists, was abducted yesterday by unidentified men in the centre of the city

Mosulnews

Unesco's plan to ‘revive spirit’ of devastated Mosul gets under way

Initiative involves local communities in rebuilding their historic landmarks and neighbourhoods

Two trunkloads of fake Iraqi antiquities seized by UK customs

The international market is now “absolutely awash” with forgeries, says British Museum curator who examined the hoard

Restorers making headway in rehabilitation of Erbil Citadel

After setbacks related to ISIS's offensive, preservationists in northern Iraq report progress

Heritageanalysis

If the US destroys Iranian cultural sites, President Trump will be criminally liable by international law

The US is signatory to The Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict, which forbids any act of hostility to cultural property

Geneva-based foundation Aliph directs $10m to heritage conservation projects in conflict zones

Sites targeted range from a Yemeni palace in ruins to a shrine destroyed by the Islamic State in Iraq

Penn Museum hands over fragments of 387 ancient clay tablets to Iraqi Embassy

Archaeologists say the tablets, unearthed nearly a century ago, are akin to receipts