News: Babil Museum opens gates to past
Story by Staff Sgt. Garrett Ralston
BABIL PROVINCE, Iraq - The Babil Provincial Reconstruction Team, with support from 1st Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, officially opened the doors of the historic Babylon Museum Sunday.
The restoration of this historic landmark is a reflection of the U.S. Government’s commitment to implementing the Strategic Framework Agreement between the U.S. and Iraq, and these efforts will assist Iraq in preserving its heritage.
“I have been so privileged to participate in events such as these,” said Dr. Rick Roberts, of the Babil PRT. “This is the most important one of all to me. The city of Babylon is a treasure not just for the people of Iraq, but for the whole world.”
The newly renovated museum sits among the old Babylon ruins, a nearby palace, and other outbuildings that date back to the 3rd century B.C. Projects such as these are intended to preserve Iraq’s rich history and tradition for future generations.
The U.S. supported project cost nearly $300,000 and features a replica of the famous Ishtar Gate, several beautiful outdoor color murals, and architecturally appropriate front and side gates. The inside of the museum has many exhibits that bring the past to life. Some of these include a portion of a brick wall with the Lion of Babylon emblazoned on it, many backlit pictures of historical Babylon, and a model of the old layout of the city.
The efforts in Babil are intended to bolster a new basis for tourism and opportunities for the outside world to see firsthand the wonders of Iraq, both past and present.
Members of the 3rd ACR have worked with the PRT consistently to ensure the successful completion of this and many other local projects over several months.
Completion of the museum will bring new potential for Iraq’s history to reach new audiences and provide a way for its own citizens to access their heritage.
“A rehabilitated and protected Babylon site will create sustainable tourism development for the people of Babil province and ultimately, the world,” said Bob Wong, Public Diplomacy Officer for the Babil PRT.