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Iraq calls on UNESCO to include Babylon on World Heritage List

February 26, 2019 at 11:26 am

The Walls of Babylon and the Temple of Bel (Or Babel) by 19th-century illustrator William Simpson – influenced by early archaeological investigations [Wikipedia]

Iraqi President Barham Salih yesterday called on the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) to include the ancient city of Babylon on the World Heritage List, the Anadolu Agency reported.

A statement by the Iraqi presidency said Salih made the request during a meeting with UNESCO Director Audrey Azoulay in France.

According to the statement, Barham discussed with Azoulay UNESCO’s  efforts in the fields of wiping out illiteracy and providing opportunities for workers in the scientific research field as well as educational developments and giving priority to researchers looking for scholarships.

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The statement said “the meeting has also discussed increasing the number of Iraqi employees within the organisation”.

According to the statement, Saleh stressed the importance of UNESCO’s support for culture and education in Iraq and to help restore its looted artifacts.

For her part, Azoulay stressed UNESCO’s readiness to support Iraq in the cultural and educational fields and to restore its looted monuments and preserve its historical heritage.

The city of Babylon is one of the oldest cities in Iraq and in the region.

Several Iraqi antiquities were looted after the United States invasion in 2003.