Iran, Iraq Eye Expansion of Cultural Ties

Tasnim News,
05 May 2015, Iraq

Iranian Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Ali Jannati and Iraq’s Minister of Culture Firyad Rawanduzi held the meeting in Tehran on Monday.

Jannati said Iran and Iraq should seize opportunities for the cultural, artistic, scientific and academic cooperation, particularly within the regional and international cultural organizations.

The Iranian minister also noted that Tehran and Baghdad can promote cooperation in the area of literature, book printing and translation of books in Arabic, Persian and Kurdish.

During his stay in Tehran, the Iraqi minister also paid a visit to the National Library and Archives Organization of Iran (NLAI) on Monday.

While visiting the library, Rawanduzi expressed deep regret over destruction of Iraq's libraries and museums by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorist group.

He also called on Iran to provide the Arab country with the experience in building a national library.

Back in February, news began to spread that the central library of the Iraqi city of Mosul had been bombed by the terrorists.

According to mostly anonymous reports coming out of Mosul, improvised incendiary devices were placed around the city's central library. Elaph news reported that city residents asked ISIL militants to reconsider, but bombs were set off, igniting fires that destroyed an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 books and manuscripts.

Meanwhile, the UNESCO estimates that ISIL-controlled areas are undergoing a massive cultural destruction, which may be "one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history".