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Tourism threatens Iraq’s antiquities

As Iraq prepares for increased tourism, archaeologists are concerned that the restorations of many ancient sites is actually doing more damage than good.

“In Saddam’s time we dealt with officials who had a primary school education. They didn’t even know who Nebuchadnezzar or Hammurabi was,” he said. “Now in some of these provinces we suffer from the same problem.”

Last month the tourism and antiquities ministry ordered the northern province of Nineveh to halt work on an ancient Assyrian wall when it found out they were using stones cut with electric saws.

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