(MENAFN - Youm7) The General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage and the Ministry of Tourism of Iraq are preparing the opening of the National Museum of Iraq, after its closure since the U.S. invasion in 2003.
Its collection of historical artifacts was subject to the largest looting operation in its history.
Chairman of the General Authority for Antiquities and Heritage, Qais Hussein Rashid said the museum will open in November in press statements to Al-Jazeera. He pointed out the number of artifacts to be presented to the public will exceed 200,000 pieces.
He explaining the work of the inventory is still ongoing in stores, where he expects the assets of the museum to reach more than a million artifacts, and there is intention to switch displayed artifacts from time to time.
The director of Iraqi museum Amira Eidan said the 23 rooms in the museum will open and the lighting, surveillance cameras and alarms are almost complete.
In the same context, the director of the museum, Mohsen Hassan, said preparations for the opening are in progress and 20 show rooms are complete, including a room of prehistoric times, the halls of the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations, the Hall of Hammurabi and the hall of Islamic artifacts
He said most of the artifacts stolen at the time of the U.S. invasion were returned and most of them were stolen from the stores of the Iraqi Museum.
The artifacts stolen from the halls of the museum were few and were sent back to the museum. They will be presented in the opening, in addition to those found in mining operations in 2007 and 2008.
Hassan added the museum invited many archaeologists and all those interested in the heritage of the Iraqi civilization, which is more than 6,000 years long, from around the world to attend the opening.
Iraqi Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism spokesman Abd al-Talaqani said the current security situation in Iraq requires special protection for the antiquities on display, since they will be accessible to everyone.
Iraqi archeologist Behnam Abu Sueif said the pieces were stolen on April 10 and 11 of 2003 and were returned to the museum. 10,000 pieces will be presented in a special hall to recall what was subject to Iraqi antiquities as a result of the invasion.
Abu Suef asked those responsible for the museum to operate according to the methods pursued by most museums worldwide, by appointing retired military officers and experienced security guards to secure the museum halls, in addition to providing protection of electronic cameras.
The Iraqi National Museum is one of the most important museums in the world and is located in the center of the capital Baghdad. It was founded in 1923.