Iraq’s National Museum reopened yesterday for the first time since its 2003 looting made it a symbol of post-invasion bedlam, the New York Times reports. But with only eight of 26 rooms functional, its reopening symbolizes as much the long road ahead as it does Iraqi reconstruction thus far, Steven Lee Myers writes. Years after thousands of items were stolen, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki pushed for the controversial reopening.
“It was a rugged wave and strong black wind that passed over Iraq, and one of the results was the destruction that hit this cultural icon,” Maliki said at a ceremony marking the moment. “We have stopped this black wind.” But not all were happy about the move. “It is a risk to open the museum at this time,” said a Culture Ministry official; colleagues boycotted the event.