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Museums, Baghdad

Iraq Museum
Few countries in the world are as rich in archaeology as Iraq. Iraq Museum, with its 28 galleries, making it the largest museum in the Middle East, and its great well organized and carefully labeled collection of archaeological finds is a reflection of this richness. It is one of the most important museums in the World, situated in Karkh district.

Golden Bull Head covered with inlays, decorating the front of a lyre, 2250 BC - Iraq MuseumExhibits cover a time-span from the early Stone Age in Mesopotamia 100,000 years ago to well into the Islamic period 8th century AD. One of its most fascinating exhibits is a 10,000 year old pebble with 12 deep scratches on its surface, which is thought to be one of the first calendars. Also, a Sumerian seal dating from about 5,000 years ago, shows the first pictorial representation of two people shaking hands, Sumerian gold, Assyrian winged bulls, exquisite marble statues from Hatra, Islamic inscriptions, intricately carved doors, brilliantly illuminated manuscripts.

It is a record of the many peoples and cultures which flourished in Mesopotamia from time immemorial up to the centuries of the Arab empire, the Museum offers a vivid display of pre-historic remains, of astonishing collection of antiquities, and of the civilizations and arts of the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Seleucids, Parthians, Sassanians, and Abbasids. The display halls are chronologically arranged in this order.

Some of the objects on display here are reproductions, with their originals removed by conquering nations to be displayed in foreign museums. The Louvre in Paris, London's British Museum, Berlin Museum, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum in the US all contain antiquities from ancient Mesopotamia. Some pieces have been returned, but the effective closure of the country seems to preclude any further returns for the foreseeable future.

For the benefit of scholars, the Museum has a rich multilingual library, which adds to the prestige of the Iraq Museum as one of the best in the world of Mesopotamian studies.

Baghdad Museum
One of the most interesting museums in Iraq. A visit to this museum brings you back to the first 40 years of the 20th century. You will live with the various traditions and values of the Baghdadi people at that period, and see time-honored professions and popular customs of Baghdad in colorful life-size sculptures. Many of which are fast disappearing but still very interesting to see, even as images.

A multilingual library on relevant subjects is also part of the museum. Paintings, photographs, maps and other illustrative material depict aspects of the city's history, together with the portraits of famous men who once ruled the city.

This museum is situated in Mamoun Street, near Shuhada (Martyrs) Bridge at the area wherein the old Round City of Baghdad was originally established, in front of Al-Mustansereyya School. The museum consists of many gypsum statues, which were made by the most experience Iraqi artists. And it comprises several galleries; each one represents part of the Baghdadi life at that time such as:

The Boat and Boatman - The Tobacconist - Wood Turner - The Weaver - Coppersmith - Zorchana - Al-Qahwa (Baghdadi coffee-shop) - The Porter - The Barber - The Marriage Night - The Divan

Antiques from Iraq Museum

Museum of Popular Heritage
This is a collection of traditional old Baghdadi houses, and contains displays of traditional crafts, such as basketwork, carpets, woodwork and metalwork.

Museum of National Costumes and Folklore
In Al-Rashid Street, on the Eastern bank of the Tigris. Apart from the peculiarly national character of the exhibits, the Museum's building is in an original Baghdadi style of architecture worth noting.

Museum of Iraqi Art Pioneers
Another old Baghdadi-style house built in 1909, lying next door to the Museum of National Costumes and Folklore, with rooms constructed around a central courtyard containing a fountain. It is furnished with traditional old Baghdadi furniture and has numerous works of over 20 artists whose paintings and drawings before 1949 laid the foundation of the modern Iraqi art movement.

Oil Painting - Museum of Iraqi Art Pioneers

National Museum of Modern Art
In Kifah Street, near (Tayaran) Sabawi Square. A complex of four galleries, the largest of which is devoted to Iraqi modem art, with a permanent collection of paintings, sculptures and ceramics, which is constantly being expanded.

Here the visitor can follow up the history of the Iraqi modem art movement from its earliest beginnings to the present. The other three galleries hold a large number of collective and one-man shows all the year round.

Museum of Natural History
This Museum has grown into a Research Institute because its rich collection and library with more than 26000 books constitute an extraordinary basis for fundamental research.
 

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