US National Archives Preserves Recovered Iraqi Jewish Objects Ahead of Fall Exhibit
by Zach Pontz
Conservators at the US National Archives have been hard at work restoring a wealth of historic objects from Iraq’s Jewish community, according to The Washington Post, which gained access to the process and documented it in a photo slideshow published Monday.
Found in Saddam Hussein’s flooded basement by U.S. Marines following the dictator’s ouster in 2003, the National Archives undertook the restoration of some of the more than 1,000 books, documents and artifacts recovered. Among the items were a handwritten Passover Haggadah, from 1902, a Viennese Haggadah, from 1930, and school records and personal photographs.
The National Archives is planning to unveil a new exhibit in October named “Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage,” with some of the objects expected to be available for public viewing.
According to the National Archives’ website, “The exhibit details the dramatic recovery of historic materials relating to the Jewish community in Iraq.” The 2,000 square foot exhibit will feature 24 recovered items and a “behind the scenes” video of the preservation process.