The New York Times ran an interesting article today on renewed efforts to preserve Iraq's cultural heritage, especially through archaeology and restoration of sites like Babylon. The US State Department has provided a $2 million grant which is being used to preserve the Ishtar Gate, built by Nebudchadnezzar in the sixth century B.C., among other efforts. An excerpt:
"The World Monuments Fund has been carrying out what amounts to archaeological triage since it began its conservation plan in 2009. It has created computer scans to provide precise records of the damage to the ruins and identified the most pernicious threats, starting with erosion caused by salty groundwater. “What we’ve got to do is create a stable environment,” Mr. Allen said at the site in November. “Right now it’s on the fast road to falling apart.”"
Read the full article, "A Triage to Save the Ruins of Babylon" here.