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After decades of dictatorship and disrepair, Iraq is celebrating its renewed sovereignty over the Babylon archaeological site by fighting over the place, over its past and future and, of course, over its spoils.
On April 10, 2003, as the world watched a statue of Saddam Hussein come crashing down in the heart of Baghdad, a mob of looters attacked the Iraq National Museum. Despite the presence of an American tank unit, the pillaging went unchecked, and more than 15,000 artifactssome of the oldest evidence of human culturedisappeared into the shadowy worldwide market in illicit antiquities.
Six years after the US-led invasion, art galleries are reopening in Baghdad in the first signs of a renaissance in what was long a cultural capital of the Arab world.
Our democracy is retreating, what proves this is the decree issued by the ministry of culture to return imposing censorship on books.
Iraq's National Museum has partially reopened nearly six years after it was pillaged as Baghdad fell to US forces. A reinauguration ceremony was attended by prime minister Nuri al-Maliki and senior officials who said they wished to demonstrate that the capital was secure and normal life was returning.
Iraq Museum director Amira Edan, swamped by a pile of papers on her desk, sighs as she tries to explain the political firestorm swirling around the opening of the Iraq Museum, which became a symbol of the postinvasion looting that devastated Baghdad.