In March 2017, the Smithsonian and the U.S. Department of State announced a $400,000 project to enable Iraq’s State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and others to conduct on-the-ground work to document and stabilize the recently liberated ancient city of Nimrud.

Nimrud, located about 20 miles south of Mosul, was under the control of ISIS until November 2016. During the city’s captivity, many important historical sites and artifacts were damaged or destroyed. This project builds on the Smithsonian’s work at the Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage in Erbil, Iraq, which was established by the State Department in 2009 for the purpose of supporting the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage.

Corine Wegener, Director of the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative, and other Smithsonian experts held collaborative planning sessions in Erbil with their Iraqi partners to gain a better understanding of the current conditions in Nimrud. From these sessions came a more detailed project plan for stabilizing and securing endangered artifacts from this ancient imperial city and helping establish procedures for the Iraqi-led stabilization and recovery of artifacts at the site.

Work on the stabilization and preservation project at the site of Nimrud, Iraq, is still ongoing.