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Iraqi debate over Baghdad as Arab cultural capital

As events to recognize Baghdad as the Arab Capital of Culture for 2013 get underway, Iraqis artists and creative producers express their discontent with the Ministry of Culture .
Monumental Assyrian works stand in a gallery of the Iraq Museum in Baghdad. The authorities closed the museum and removed most of its other treasures to secret hiding places during the 1990-91 Gulf crisis, but are now considering plans with UNESCO to put them back on show. (Picture taken 30NOV98) - RTXHUYE
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BAGHDAD — Baghdad is celebrating its selection as the 2013 Arab Capital of Culture. Since the program began, many differences have emerged between the Iraqi government and those working in cultural production.

In addition to these differences, to which Iraqi cultural circles have grown accustomed, a former Iraqi ambassador to UNESCO, Shawqi Abdel Amir, pointed out “the neglect of the Iraqi government in mentioning the role of UNESCO [in the festivities].”

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