The Iraqi-Italian Institute of Archaeological Sciences and the Iraqi-Italian Centre for the Restoration of Monuments in Baghdad

A considerable part of the activities carried out by Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino has always been dedicated to planning work, studies, restoration, testing and application of new methodologies in the field of cultural heritage, in cooperation with the authorities of the various countries in which the Centre has operated. For this reason, the Italian-Iraqi Institute of Archaeological Sciences and the Italian-Iraqi Centre for the Restoration of Monuments have been operating in Baghdad since 1969, founded with the purpose of creating an ongoing joint cooperation between Italy and Iraq, even in especially delicate times as in the past few years.

The two Institutes’ activities in these decades concentrated on survey, restoration and study campaigns of important monuments and archaeological sites such as Ctesiphon, Babylon, ‘Aqar Quf, Mosul and its Minaret, ‘Anah and the monuments of Islamic Baghdad, as well as on the training of Iraqi staff, on the recovery of artifacts looted from Iraq during the two Gulf Wars (B.R.I.L.A.), on the restoration and reorganization of the Iraq Museum of Baghdad, which was seriously damaged during the latest bombings, with the support Italian of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAE-DGMM, Task Force Iraq), the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and its Central Restoration Institute.

Renovation works are currently carried out in the new seat that the Iraqi authorities assigned to the Institute (close to the Qusla, in the historical area of Baghdad). Thanks to its partners and to the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Centro Ricerche Archeologiche e Scavi di Torino has been making many efforts in order to re-open the Institute, thus offering an adequate technical and logistic support to future training, research and preservation projects.