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International Forum Discuss Babylon Ruins Reopen in Iraq, to Controversy at the Political Forums; BABYLON, Iraq — After decades of dictatorship and disrepair, Iraq is celebrating its renewed sovereignty over the Babylon archaeological site ...

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Old 05-03-2009, 06:01 PM
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Default Babylon Ruins Reopen in Iraq, to Controversy

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BABYLON, Iraq — After decades of dictatorship and disrepair, Iraq is celebrating its renewed sovereignty over the Babylon archaeological site — by fighting over the place, over its past and future and, of course, over its spoils.

Time long ago eroded the sun-dried bricks that shaped ancient Babylon, the city of Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar, where Daniel read the writing on the wall and Alexander the Great died.

Colonial archaeologists packed off its treasures to Europe a century ago. Saddam Hussein rebuilt the site in his own megalomaniacal image. American and Polish troops turned it into a military camp, digging trenches and filling barricades with soil peppered with fragments of a biblical-era civilization.

Now, the provincial government in Babil has seized control of much of Babylon — unlawfully, according to the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage — and opened a park beside a branch of the Euphrates River, a place that draws visitors by the busload.
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The agencies clashed over the reopening of the National Museum in Baghdad in February, and then as now, the tourism ministry, which favored reopening, prevailed. Its power stems not from the Constitution, but from proximity to Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who has pressed for reopening historic and cultural sites as symbols of the country’s stability and progress. His government made control of ancient sites a provision in the security agreement with the United States that took effect in January. Next month, the American military will turn over the last of them, Ur, the ancient Sumerian capital in southern Iraq.
Ur is where Abraham is from, I think?
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Security in Iraq has improved immensely, allowing the Iraqis to once again think about the past as part of the country’s future, even if Iraq is not yet ready for tourism as most of the world knows it. One visitor, Esma Ali, a university student from Hilla, said she had grown up in the shadow of Babylon, but had never visited it before, and she did so with a sense of awe.

“I feel our history is coming back,” she said.
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th
The archeologists say opening this to tourism will harm some of the sites and artifacts. That is probably true. But tourism may finance future research.

Here's an audio visual slide show
Babylon, Rediscovered - The New York Times
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Babylon Ruins Reopen in Iraq, to Controversy

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Ur is where Abraham is from, I think?
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/03/wo..._r=1&th&emc=th
The archeologists say opening this to tourism will harm some of the sites and artifacts. That is probably true. But tourism may finance future research.

Here's an audio visual slide show
Babylon, Rediscovered - The New York Times
I thought Abraham was from Illinois......
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:45 AM
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Default Re: Babylon Ruins Reopen in Iraq, to Controversy

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I thought Abraham was from Illinois......
He was, Ur, Illinois, until God called him to take his family and head for the promised land - OREGON!!!
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Old 05-04-2009, 02:04 PM
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Default Re: Babylon Ruins Reopen in Iraq, to Controversy

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He was, Ur, Illinois, until God called him to take his family and head for the promised land - OREGON!!!
They roamed Las Vegas for 40 years...
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Babylon Ruins Reopen in Iraq, to Controversy

blasphemers.
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