The FOBM Trustees are delighted that the three new galleries - Sumer, Babylon and Assyria opened at the Basrah Museum on 19 March. This was made possible through the efforts of Qahtan Al Abeed and the Basrah Museum and Iraq Museum staff members. Two thousand new objects were sent from Baghdad, including some of the pieces from the original Basrah Museum, now installed in a special case in the Basrah Gallery. The opening ceremony was attended by close to 600 people. Qahtan Al Abeed, HE Qais Al Rasheed, Maysoon Al Damluji, John Curtis, Victoria Lindsay, Michael Townshend and Alice Walpole all delivered remarks before Qahtan invited guests to attend the cutting of the ribbon to declare the museum galleries fully open. Many of the speakers paid special tribute to the efforts of Dr Lamia Al Gailani and a moments silence was held to honour her memory and all her efforts on the Basrah Museum project and for Iraqi archaeology.
The Friends of Basrah Museum Chairman Dr John Curtis is cutting the Ribbon with Maysoon Damluji while Qahtan Al Abeed holds the ribbon. The museum was packed with many visitors.
The Museum opening celebration was followed the next day by a Museum Library workshop conducted by John Dolan OBE and Ayub Khan MBE, who will be assisting the Basrah Museum and the FOBM in establishing a library at the museum and working together on the project funded by the Cultural Protection Fund.
The Trustees wish to thank the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and the Basrah Provincial Council and the Governor's office for their support on the project.
HWH & Associates and Bur Alaman Company have been invaluable corporate project partners for the project and ensuring the galleries were ready in time.