Rome, April 9 (IANS/AKI) Italy has re-launched its first programme of cultural activities in Iraq in 15 years with an exhibition on Italian archaeological missions in the country now on in Baghdad, the Italian Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
“Italy’s support to cultural heritage is of primary importance in Iraq’s reconstruction,” said Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano.
“Italy intends to further enhance its more than decade-long engagement in Iraq to rebuild museums, recover archaeological sites and combat the illegal trafficking of archaeological finds, because we are convinced that culture is an effective and essential driver of sustainable development and of human and social rebirth,” he said.
The ‘Preserving the cultural heritage of Iraq: the contribution of the Italian archaeological missions’ exhibition is attracting Iraqis and foreigners alike, Alfano underlined.
The exhibition is the first event in the ‘Italy, Cultures, the Mediterranean’ programme including film screenings, musical performances, history and literature events, the ministry said.
The exhibition is taking place at the Italian-Iraqi Institute of Archaeological Sciences.
The institute is co-directed by Professor Carlo Lippolis of the Archaeological Research and Excavation Centre of Turin, which has managed the rebuilding of the National Museum of Iraq since 2004 after it was looted around the time of the 2003 invasion of the country.