Front view of the former palace of Sadam Hussein in 2008
Former palace of Sadam Hussein in 2008, prior to conversion into new Basrah Museum. ©

J.E Curtis

We are pleased to award The Basrah Museum project £530,600*

This project sees the completion of three remaining galleries in the newly opened Basrah Museum, in Iraq. 

The Basrah Museum

The old Basrah Museum was looted in the 1st and 2nd Gulf Wars and was closed in 2003.

The new museum is housed in one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces. The initial conversion was undertaken by the British Army in 2008 and the first gallery was opened to the public in September 2016, funded by The Friends of Basrah Museum

Completing the three remaining galleries

The new museum will showcase the rich cultural heritage of Iraq, from 3000 BC to the early 20th century. The three remaining galleries will display important cultural heritage that have been in store in Baghdad since 2003, and tell the story of the most important eras in Iraq's history: Sumer (Southern Iraq in the period 3300BC - 1792BC), Babylon (the great period of Mesopotamian civilisation from 1792BC-330BC) and Assyria (Northern Iraq between 883 BC and 612 BC).

The Friends of Basrah Museum, a registered UK charity, will work with the Department of Antiquities and Heritage, Basrah, and the State Board of Antiquities in Baghdad to fit out the three remaining galleries in the museum and transfer cultural items from Baghdad for display.

The project will offer professional development for museum staff through a capacity building programme delivered by UK museum professionals, including training for museum staff on exhibition development, interpretation, graphic design, conservation and scientific analysis.

*An additional £70,600 was awarded in September 2017 to cover essential capital preparation work. 

About The Friends of Basrah Museum

The Friends of Basrah Museum (FOBM) is a UK-registered charity established in 2010 to raise funds for the Basrah Museum and to provide support to its Director, Qahtan Alabeed.

The trustees are Sir Terence Clark, Dr John Curtis, Liane Butcher, Clare Bebbington, Dr Lamia al-Gailani-Werr,  Angela Grimshaw, Hugo Clarke and Ian McGregor.

Project partners

  • The Department of Antiquities and Heritage, Basrah
  • The State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Baghdad
  • HWH & Associates - Project management company