Director-General of the Iraq National Museum Pays a Courtesy Call on
Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi
April 1, 2004
- Director-General of the Iraq National Museum Dr. Donny George, visiting Japan on the invitation of the Japan Foundation, paid a courtesy call on Minister for Foreign Affairs Yoriko Kawaguchi at the Ministry on April 1, 2004.
- Foreign Minister Kawaguchi stated that in the Government of Japan's efforts towards the reconstruction of Iraq, in addition to areas such as water supply, electric power, medical care and education, the Government is placing importance on assistance in cultural aspects, including the protection of Iraq's cultural heritage, which is of important historical value. In addition to assistance for the rebuilding of the Iraq National Museum, which is already being implemented through UNESCO, Japan will provide cooperation and assistance in other cultural areas in the future. In addition, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi explained that as a joint public-private cooperation initiative, the "Save Iraq's Cultural Heritage Campaign" had been launched in May 2003, and that private sector fund raising would also be used to save Iraq's cultural heritage in the future.
- Dr. Donny George expressed his appreciation for Japan's assistance and provided an overview of the status of cultural properties that had been looted from the Iraq National Museum, explaining the continuing situation of looting from heritage sites and the necessity for enhanced security at the sites. In addition, Dr. Donny George stated that the cultural heritage of Iraq was an asset not for Iraq alone but for all of humanity, and that without cultural reconstruction the reconstruction of Iraq would not be fully complete, expressing the hope that Japan would continue to provide assistance in cultural areas.
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