Iraq Regains Control of Ur

AFP reports on the return of Ur to Iraqi control last week:

The US military on Wednesday handed control of ancient Ur, the biblical birthplace of Abraham, back to Iraqi authorities, who hope now to relaunch it as a major tourism site.

“We officially announce the taking over of Ziggurat of Ur from our friends the Americans,” Talib Kamil al-Hassan, governor of Dhi Qar province, said at a ceremony to mark the return of the site six years after the American invasion.

“We are pleased with this great success for the nation,” he added while the Iraqi flag was hoisted atop the temple.

“Abraham, peace be upon him, was born here, the father of prophets and religions,” he said.

The site is renowned for its well preserved stepped platform or ziggurat, which dates back to the third millennium BC.

It lies near the US air base of Talila, outside the southern city of Nasiriyah, and has been closed to the public since the US-led invasion of 2003 that toppled dictator Saddam Hussein.

On a similar note, Larry Rothfield was interviewed by Chicago Public TV station WTTW which gives a slightly different view.  He describes many of the failures which led to the destruction of Iraqi heritage in recent years. 

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