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National Museum of Iraq remains closed to public

Four years after officially reopening, Iraq's national museum remains off-limits to average Iraqis and information about it is difficult to obtain.
Assyrian mural sculptures are displayed in the Iraqi national museum in Baghdad September 24, 2008.  In Iraq's national museum, a frieze shows an Assyrian king, whose former capital is now in modern Iraq, besieging what looks like a walled town as soldiers pile decapitated heads at his feet. Picture taken September 24, 2008. To match feature IRAQ/MUSEUM     REUTERS/Ceerwan Aziz (IRAQ) - RTX95P0

BAGHDAD — Although more than 10 years have passed since the transformative events of 2003 in Iraq, the fate of the Iraq Museum remains a mystery. News of it has all but disappeared. It is known to open its doors to diplomatic missions, but most Iraqis have never been inside the museum, which has been undergoing construction work, which has itself raised questions. Although there are workers in the museum, and although it was officially reopened in 2009, the museum remains closed to the public. With its director, Amira Edan, sometimes outright refusing to speak to the press, the museum is shrouded in mystery and secrecy. This is where my story of the museum began and enigmatically ended.

Every time I pass by the museum, I feel the urge to go inside and see the antiquities, artwork and other items displayed there. I am overwhelmed by a burning desire to see the museum’s doors opened wide to visitors. It has been 10 years since the museum was vandalized following the US-led invasion. When I look at the museum's facade, I stare at it with the eyes of a citizen who has a bond thousands of years old with the museum.

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