Iraq: Baghdad – Iraq Museum
The Iraq Museum (sometimes called am the National Museum of Iraq) is perhaps the holy grail of visiting the country, although you are most likely not able to get in. The museum contains absolutely precious relics of several civilizations, fromSumerian, Assyrian, and Babylonian to Persian to Islamic. The archaeological collection of the Iraq Museum is considered to be one of the most historically important and wide-spanning in the world – over 5,000 years of history in 28 galleries and numerous closed vaults. From Mask of Warka from Uruk from 3100 BC to Bassetki Statue from 2100 BC to Nimrud gold jewelry from 800 BC to two fragments of the Babylon’s gates from 500 BC to the grand Persian halls full of statues! The museum was badly looted and sacked following the US invasion in 2003 and remained closed until 2015 while the stolen artifacts were being recovered, sadly only a small portion. It was reported in May 2021, that the USA had returned over 17,000 looted pieces recovered on the worldwide black markets. Nevertheless, the collection is very impressive, easily rivaling the British Museum or the Museum of Egypt and an absolute crown jewel of visiting Iraq. We go super lucky and were denied entry and turned around three times before some very “important calls” from “important people” resulted in a full-blown tour while being accompanied by senior military officer – talk about feeling like a dignitary for a day!