Baghdad museum's slow recovery





The Assyrian Hall at the Iraqi National Museum is breathtaking.

Stone panels from the royal palace at Khorsabad run along the walls.

The carvings on the friezes depict daily life in the Assyrian royal court, which at its height about 3,000 years ago controlled a region stretching across much of the modern Middle East.

In one panel a distinctly regal king looks at his subjects as a courtier fans him. Another panel shows priests carrying out religious rituals.

The workmanship on the friezes is delicate. The carefully placed spotlights bring the carvings to life and it is easy for your mind to be transported to ancient Mesopotamia.

Recent work in the hall has included the addition of a modern arch, which is flanked by ancient bulls with eagle wings and human heads.

It forms the entrance to the hall, which gives you the sense of walking into an Assyrian palace.



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