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The Friends of Basrah Museum (FOBM) is a de-registered UK Charity founded in 2010 to assist with the establishment of a new museum in Basra, Iraq, dedicated to the archaeological and historical inheritance of Basrah in particular and Iraq in general and to foster the study of the cultural heritage of the Basrah region and more generally southern Iraq.

In October 2020 it merged with the British Institute for the Study of Iraq (Gertrude Bell Memorial) - BISI and the overall management of activities previously undertaken by FOBM has transferred to BISI.

The Basrah Museum’s first gallery, devoted to the Basra region, was opened and preliminary remedial works completed in 2016 thanks to a generous donation from the BP Foundation and other corporate and private contributions.

Following the September 2016 Basrah Gallery launch ceremony, a two day international conference on the history, culture, and heritage of Basra took place, organised by the British Institute for the Study of Iraq and Museum Director Qahtan Alabeed.  

In December 2016, the Trustees of the charity were awarded a grant from the Cultural protection Fund (CPF) to complete the installation of the three remaining galleries and to assist with museum staff training and activities. 

In March 2019 the further three galleries  - Assyrian, Babylon and Sumer Galleries were opened, marked by an official ceremony presided over by Qahtan Alabeed. The grant was extended in January 2019 to establish a Basrah Museum Library and provide training.  The CPF funded project work was completed in February 2020.

The Trustees are grateful to all our generous supporters who have helped make this work possible.

The British Council’s £30m Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, was set up to protect cultural heritage at risk due to conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.