The ancient Mesopotamian city of Babylon was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List at a meeting of the council of that specialized agency of the United Nations in Baku.
This successfully ended years of lobbying by the Iraqi government.
Babylon, which is today an archeological site, is the sixth site on the territory of Iraq to be placed on the UNESCO list.
Iraqi President Barham Salih said the city of Babylon had returned to its rightful place, “after Iraqi leaders ignored the issue for years.”
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi welcomed the news.
“Mesopotamia is the true foundation of the memory of humanity and the cradle of civilization in recorded history,” he said.
Mahdi added that the government will subsidize additional funds for the conservation of the city’s archeological site on the Euphrates River.
Babylon, located 85 kilometers south of Baghdad, was once the center of powerful empires, and its famous hanging gardens were one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
Today it is reduced to the remains of walls built of clay bricks, and only the reconstructed Ishtar Gate, the eighth gate for the inner city of Babylon, and some sculptures such as the famous Babylonian Lion are better preserved.
The remains of the ancient city are located in an area of ten square kilometers, reports the Hina agency.