Celebration of the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage
October 9, 2012
Ambassador Adam Ereli, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) and Consul General Paul Sutphin participated in a ceremony at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage to celebrate the full implementation of the Institute's academic programs. Ambassador Ereli personally delivered a letter from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton congratulating the Institute on its successes.
The Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage, a state-of-the-art conservation facility in Erbil, represents a remarkable partnership between the U.S. Government, Government of Iraq and the Kurdish Regional Government. The U.S. Government is proud to have supported the Institute from its inception in 2008.
The Institute was established in 2008 under a U.S.-Iraqi initiative as part of the Iraq Cultural Heritage Project (ICHP) which has brought experts from around the world to Iraq to train Iraqi museum and heritage professionals in the preservation and conservation of their national treasures. Partnerships like this strengthen shared commitment under the Strategic Framework Agreement to preserve Iraq's cultural heritage and protect archeological antiquities.
The Institute has accomplished so much in a relatively short amount of time. Four years ago, this place did not exist. Today it is thriving in a modern teaching facility, and nearly 100 students from throughout Iraq have benefitted from its professional programs in the preservation of museum collections, architectural monuments and archaeological sites. Because of the Institute, the only one of its kind in the region, Iraq is now a leader in heritage preservation education.