US gives $13 million grant to restore Baghdad museum

As conditions in Iraq improve, more and more historical attractions are opening back up. Not the main one, though. The National Museum in Baghdad, so brutally looted 5 1/2 years ago, is still a wreck.

The US government is stepping up the plate and donating $13 million to restore the museum and support other archaeological endeavors.

U.S. forces came under widespread criticism in the immediate aftermath of the invasion for failing to prevent the looting of priceless relics from the museum, even while troops were dispatched to secure other sites such as the Oil Ministry.

“This is an investment not only in Iraq’s heritage but in the world’s heritage,” the U.S. ambassador in Iraq, Ryan Crocker, said. The money will be used for archaeology and museum training projects as well as the restoration of the museum.

Seems only fair. I wouldn’t mind if the number on the check were larger, but at least this nest egg should be enough to get the museum back on its feet.