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Country Summary for IRAQ

I.  Relevant Legislation
II.  Regulated Cultural Property


'Antiquities'—movable and immovable possessions which were erected, made, produced, sculptured, written, drawn or photographed by man, if they are two hundred years old or more.

'Immovable Antiquities'—all antiquities erected on and attached to the soil such as buildings, mounds, caves and any objects usually attached to buildings and thus constituting a part thereof.

'Movable Antiquities'—all antiquities detached from the soil or from buildings and are easily removed therefrom and transported to any other place.

In addition, the Directorate shall be entitled to consider as Antiquities the movable and immovable possessions, which are less than two hundred years old, if the public interest requires its protection due to its historical, national, religious or artistic value. This should be done by a decision from the minister, published in the Government Gazette. (1936 Law Art. 1)


Any person who discovers an immovable antiquity and any owner or proprietor of land where such antiquity has been discovered who knows of such discovery and any public servant, Sheikh of a tribe, Sirkal, Mukhtar of a village or quarter who knows of such discovery shall report the same within ten days to the local administrative authorities.
(1936 Law Art. 11)

The possessor of antiquities and manuscripts mentioned in item (2) of this article, is responsible for [registering] his possessions in the Directorate's registers within a period of one year and six months from the date of the execution of this law, and should register the imported manuscripts or those discovered casually, within thirty days from the date of the discovery or entrance to Iraq, if this happened after the lapse of the above mentioned year and six months. (1935 Law Art. 16(3)(a))

The Directorate should register the antiquities and ancient manuscripts mentioned in item (2) of this article, in an official register, prepared for this purpose, and should supply the owner with an official registration certificate. These antiquities and manuscripts must be under the control of the Directorate. (1935 Law Art. 16)

III.  Export Restrictions

IV.  Ownership Rights and Restrictions

V.  Violations, Penalties and Sanctions

VI.  International Conventions and Bilateral Agreements
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Country Contact
for Cultural Property
Mr. Alla Esmaiel / Aqeel Mojammed
Director General, Ministry of Culture
(964) 790 110 9031
(964) 790 189 6288