ARBICA Statement on Iraq’s Archives (April, 14)

The Arab Regional Branch of the International Council of Archives (ARBICA) has been observing with great anxiety the events of the war against Iraq which started on March 20, 2003 and is going on until now. […] Archives institutions around the world have confirmed that the Code of Hamurabi (1792-1750 B.C.), the oldest archives in the history of the world, along with its 285 articles of social and administrative laws, is a collection of jurisprudence for the organization of social life. […] At the turn of the 21st century, it is a historical compulsion for the masters of science and technology to
protect this unique heritage of mankind. Instead, we are watching the destruction of all museums, and further threatening the documents and archives with serious danger by fierce bombardment. […] We are horrified and grieved to observe the mob looting plundering and destroying the Iraqi National Library with its manuscripts, books and rare historical journals, the National Archives Center which
represents the memory of modern Iraq, the museums in Baghdad and Mosul. Furthermore, 170,000 rare
and invaluable archeological pieces which date back to thousands of years, were also plundered and destroyed. The libraries of the museum and universities of Iraq were looted during daytime under the observation of the armed forces of the coalition who had the power to prevent such atrocities from taking
place. Is it possible that such an expedition was organized to demolish the identity of the Iraqi civilization?!

Autor: Klaus Graf

Historiker und Archivar, Blogger

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