Iraq’s National Museum reopened Monday to visitors after a three-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic and political unrest.
Treasures dating back 2,500 years to the neo-Assyrian empire alongside 9th century Islamic antiquities went back on display, including two winged bulls from the Nimrud site in the palace of Assurnasirpal II (883–859 BC).
The museum, which has stood at its present site since 1966, was ransacked amid the chaos that followed the US-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein.
The authorities have recovered around a third of some 15,000 artefacts that were looted at the time.
Islamic State group jihadists, who controlled swathes of Iraq between 2014 and 2017, carried out large-scale destruction of ancient sites, as well as trafficking in antiquities.