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Title: Urban conservation in Iraq : the case for protecting the cultural heritage of Iraq with special reference to Baghdad, including a comprehensive inventory of its areas and buildings of historic or architectural interest
Author: Fethi, Ihsan Abdul Wahab
ISNI:       0000 0001 3463 3146
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 1978
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The first part of this study shows that, although Iraq is fortunately endowed with a very rich and varied cultural heritage, efforts to protect it have been hitherto largely inadequate and unco-ordinated. While the official protective machinery centres its attention on single outstanding ancient and historic monuments and sites, the historic vernacular buildings, groups of buildings and areas - both rural and urban - remain not only badly neglected but are being rapidly demolished. The appalling and increasing destruction of this unique heritage is a serious loss and is, ironically, being caused mainly by official action. The study shows that over twenty per cent of Baghdad's historic fabric has been destroyed since World War 1 through new streets and clearance projects alone. This alarming loss is illustrated by an inventory of some 160 buildings of outstanding cultural interest demolished since 1917. The second part covers the history and morphological evolution of Baghdad and examines its recent planning and its four existing historic cores namely Rusafa, Karkh, Aadhamiya and Kadhimiya. A detailed conservation field survey was undertaken in the city between 1975 and 1976 which resulted in the identification of 53 archaeological sites and 47 zones of visual interest, in the proposal of 36 conservation areas, and in the selection, grading and documentation of 603 buildings of historic or architectural interest whose records, in Volumes II and III, form the first inventory ever produced for Baghdad. The thesis concludes, in Part Three, with general and specific recommendations on the need for greater action and a more systematic and comprehensive approach to protecting, documenting and enhancing the cultural heritage of the nation. An outline is also given on the necessary amendments to legislation, the introduction of listing, the creation of a conservation authority, the need for a greater allocation of funds and the training of staff for this specialist type of work. Finally, emphasis is given to the ten areas and seventy-one buildings in Baghdad which are under immediate threat and for which urgent action is vital.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available