Saddam Hussein's Palace Will Be Converted To A Museum Amid ISIS Crisis
The war-torn Iraq has Its hands full from recovery efforts, budget problems and the ongoing ISIS crisis. With the current situation, it may appear that the Iraqi government is far from fully recovering. But amidst all that, restoration efforts are visible and are clearly part of the plan to re-establish Iraq. This includes converting Saddam Hussein's palace to a museum.
The former Iraqi ruler's palace is set to be open to the public in September this year. According to the National Geographic, the pressure to convert and restore the palace to its former glory falls under the hands of Mahdi al-Musaw and his construction company.
Iraqi officials think that this project will be the first museum to open in the country in decades and, hopefully, initiate a "cultural revival." The public's interest in the museum shows that there is hope to change the country's reputation.
The palace is located in Basrah, one of the major urban areas in Iraq. However, signs of ISIS attacks are visible in the whole of Basra, including the palace.
Why is it possible? The current political stability and booming oil industry in Basrah will largely help the country in recovering from the devastation.
Qahtan al-Abeed, Director of the Basrah section of Iraq's State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, toldNational Geographic, "When the British left in 2008, I suggested that the central government turn the palace over to us".
The British charity organization Friends of Basrah Museum was the first to support the move to convert Saddam Hussein's palace into a museum. Amid the ISIS concerns, they believe that Iraqis and tourists should be informed of the rich Iraqi culture.
Once operational, the museum will house and display various artifacts from Sumer, Babylon, Assyria and Islamic period in Iraq. But since the museum is still in the middle of Iraq, it will be protected with thick steel doors to protect the artifacts from looting and other dangers.
The whole floor plan, display plans, inventory of displays and other important details was released by the Friends of Basrah Museum in UK.
This, however, hasn't been executed yet, not until the Iraqi government releases the fund for the restoration of Saddam Hussein's palace.