Friday 12 March 2010

Polish Co-operation with the Iraq National Museum 1961-67

Polish scholars have prepared an internet web site in English and Arabic of the original exposition of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, based on the photographs taken by Mr Stanisław Jasiewicz, a Polish expert in 1962-1967. Jasiewicz, a conservator of the National Museum in Warsaw, was entrusted by the International Council of Museums with the task of designing and arranging a display of ancient objects in the new building of the National Museum of Iraq in 1962-1967. Mr S. Jasiewicz arranged the exhibition in seventeen halls, following a chronological order of presentation. During his work in Baghdad Mr S. Jasiewicz prepared mainly black and white photographic documentation of nearly one thousand museum objects.

Polish scholars have now prepared an inventory of this documentation, described
every item and included all the set into a special internet web site This is intended to contribute to the revival of the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad.

The web site consists of four parts:
1. Museum - a short account of Mr S. Jasiewicz’s work.
2. Museum collections - photographs of galleries and individual objects.
3. Archaeological sites - photographs of some crucial Iraqi archaeological sites (e.g. Hatra, Khorsabad, Nineveh) visited by Mr S. Jasiewicz.
4. Research and protection – a summary of involvement of Polish archaeologists and conservators in archaeological and conservation work in Iraq since the 1960s.

It should also be noted that almost alone among the nations contributing to the 2003 invasion of Iraq Poland was the only one that maintained a permanent team of archaeologists in the field, trying to record and mitigate damage caused during this difficult period in the nation's history. The Americans did not do this, Matthew Bogdanos was not an archaeologist and at Ur, the liaison in such matters was apparently left to a US military chaplain.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good point. Why did the US army not have some "army archaeologists" ? WHy didn't the Italians, who after all did work in post-embargo Iraq ?

WOuld it have been difficult to find some reserve officers who ahd BAs in archaeology (I have a feeling that Bogdanos was a lawyer, but did his BA in Classics, like many US lawyers)

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