Iraq opened its very first museum in decades and has surprisingly attracted global attention. In fact, it's where the museum is located that makes it even more interesting. Iraq has transformed Saddam Hussein's faux-rococo palace in Basra into a museum, near the border in Kuwait. The Basra Museum is Saddam Hussain's former Lakeside Palace, which has been described as a mock-Rococo structure that is one of nearly 100 lavish residences the former ruler has built during his reign.
According to BBC, the museum is composed of ancient artifacts dated for more than 2,000 years. The artifacts from 400 B.C contains pottery and coins, including silver coins minted in Basra, pottery, coffins and tiles, which documented the history of the ancient civilization, as reported by Travel and Leisure.
The choice of the location was neither accidental nor a question of convenience as the President of the Basra Museum said. Museum president Qahtan al-Obaid said that he deliberately chose the location to "replace the themes of dictatorship and tyranny with civilization and humanity," he told the Associated Press.
"Iraq is historically significant for many reasons, but at the top of the list must be that it encompasses areas where some of the earliest civilizations emerged," said Seth Cantey, professor of Politics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, told BBC.
Based on BBC reports, the museum is said to be the culmination of an eight-year project to convey the history of southern Iraq. It will also help revitalize cultural revival in Basra.
Guests may visit the Basra Museum's five galleries from 9am to 3pm. The museum's entrance fee is currently set at $1 (70p) for Iraqi citizens and $10 (£7) for foreign visitors. Meanwhile, guests can also visit the palace grounds for $.85 (60p), while some of the villas near the palace were available for hotel rooms, based on earlier reports made by DailyMail.co.uk.
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