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Contact: Kristi Clemens
Tel: 1-914-360-6466.


Tuesday, May 4 -- Today Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) Administrator Ambassador L. Paul Bremer congratulated the Iraqi Minister of Culture, Mufeed Mohammed Jawad Al-Jaza’iri, the former Coalition Senior Advisor, Ambassador Mario Bondioli Osio, and the Senior Advisor, Professor John Russell, on rebuilding and creating a solid foundation for the Ministry. Bremer declared that the Ministry of Culture has reached a significant milestone and accordingly, handed over full authority.

“This country’s cultural treasures are of great importance not only to the people of Iraq, but also to all mankind. Together, the Ministry of Culture and the Coalition have worked to protect and restore Iraq’s cultural heritage and reopen her doors to the world, “stated Ambassador Bremer.

The Coalition has been and continues to work with our Iraqi partners to bring about a fundamental change in how their government operates and serves its people. On June 30th Iraqis will take full responsibility for each of their Ministries of government and administer free from external control. The Ministry of Culture has joined the Ministries of Health, Education, Public Works & Municipalities, and Science & Technology in being the first branches of government to receive full control.

“We view culture as a necessity that humanity can not progress without. It is also the medium through which other goals could be achieved, primarily the building of a democratic society. As culture could never flourish in the absence of democracy, a democratic state could never be achieved without a general cultural awareness, which our ministry aims for,” said Minister Al-Jaza’iri.

To reach this milestone, the Iraqi Ministry of Culture has developed short and long-term strategic plans, a budget, and an administrative reorganization. Fundamental management systems have been put in place, and more importantly, a system of checks and balances has been implemented to deter and root out corruption.

Under the leadership of Ambassador Osio, Professor John Russell, and Mr. Al-Jaza’iri, the Ministry of Culture has already achieved the following:
• Revived the Iraq National Symphony Orchestra
• Completed the first phase of reconstruction on the Iraq Museum
• Recovered four of the most sought-after pieces looted from the Iraq Museum: “Warka Mask,” which is perhaps the oldest naturalistic sculpture of a woman’s face (5,000 years old); “Bassetki Statue”, the “Warka Vase”, and a wood and bronze brazier.
• Approved and have begun implementation of the Archaeological Site Protection Plan

The Coalition will continue to provide technical assistance as requested by the Iraqi Ministry of Culture.

If you have any questions, please email Kristi Clemens at 


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