Italy is one of the major contributors to the protection and enhancement of Iraq’s artistic and cultural heritage. Iraqi authorities have often publicly praised Italy’s leadership and contribution on this matter.
Italy’s valuable contribution to the protection of Iraqi manuscripts was celebrated during the Arab Manuscript Day, held on April 5 at the National Museum of Baghdad.
The Ambassador of Italy to Iraq, Maurizio Greganti, and the Minister of Culture, Hassan Nadhem inaugurated the exhibition “The Legacy of Manuscripts in the Era of Globalization”. The director of the House of Manuscripts, Ahmed Karim, and the director of the National Museum of Baghdad, Laith Hussein, hosted the inauguration ceremony.
The exhibition focuses on the cultural diversity in manuscripts, Arabic calligraphy and the works of the ”Manuscript House”, an institution that deals with the protection and restoration of volumes of national prestige.
Ambassador Greganti could note the quality and breadth of the Italian contribution to the efforts to preserve Iraqi heritage: the restoration of the archival and book material exhibited took place within the framework of a project promoted by the Italian Culture Ministry and the Italian Foreign Ministry.
The project, launched in 2018, has allowed a team of Italian experts to train young local restorers in the art of manuscript preservation, by also providing equipment, tools, and machinery for the digitalization of works.
The National Museum in Baghdad itself was rebuilt thanks to the collaboration between Iraq and Italy. In particular, Italy contributed to the restoration of the Great Assyrian Gallery, which houses monumental finds from Khorsabad and Nimrud, the Islamic Gallery, and the Assyrian Media Gallery, which houses the colossi from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II of Nimrud and the Coral Hall. Thanks to Italy, a modern restoration laboratory has also been installed at the Museum.