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Press Statement
Richard Boucher, Spokesman
Washington, DC
April 29, 2003


U.S. Contributes $2 Million to Protect and Restore Iraqi Antiquities

The United States is pleased to announce a contribution of $2 million to help protect and restore key museums and archeological sites in Iraq. The American people value and respect Iraq's cultural heritage. The funds will support specific cultural preservation needs to be identified in consultation with Iraqi cultural officials. The archeological and cultural heritage of Iraq documents over 10,000 years of the development of civilization.

Included in this contribution are funds to re-establish a U.S. overseas research center in Baghdad, support for development of the "Red List of Iraqi Antiquities at Risk" by the International Council of Museums, and a searchable on-line database of images from the Baghdad Museum. The "Red List" will consist of categories of objects looted from Iraq and will serve as an aid in the interdiction and recovery of these objects worldwide.

At the request of Assistant Secretary Patricia Harrison, Maria P. Kouroupas, Executive Director of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee and Director of the Cultural Property Office of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is attending the second meeting of international experts to save Iraq's museums and cultural property today in London. The meeting is taking place at the initiative of the British Museum and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Released on April 29, 2003

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