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Reconstruction of the ancient Babylon Ishtar gate. Source: pop_gino / Adobe Stock.

Babylon: Ancient Site, Modern Problems (Video)


Amidst the challenges brought on by years of conflict, Iraq's historic treasures, like Babylon, are gradually receiving attention once more. The ancient city, once the capital of King Nebuchadnezzar, bears the marks of time, nature, and previous attempts at reconstruction. The recent efforts to refurbish the museum and replicate the Ishtar Gate are commendable, yet the real challenge lies in preventing further deterioration. Documentation is the first step in understanding the issues plaguing this monument, where modern masonry stands alongside ancient remnants. The World Monuments fund secured funds for restoration, aiming to restore Babylon's former glory. The contrast between photos from the 1980s, showing Saddam-era reconstructions, and the original ruins, underscores the need for authenticity.

The problems faced are a blend of man-made and natural, a toxic combination for preservation. Iraq's cultural heritage extends beyond Babylon, with other historic sites like Kirkuk, Nineveh, and Erbil. Efforts are underway to restore these treasures, welcoming visitors once again. Thankfully in recent years most of these sites have been made UNESCO World Heritage Site, helping efforts to save them. The focus remains on preserving the monument's authenticity and integrity. While the path ahead may be uncertain, these restoration efforts symbolize a renewed hope for Iraq's rich history.

Top image: Reconstruction of the ancient Babylon Ishtar gate. Source: pop_gino / Adobe Stock.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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