A Museum for the World 给全世界的一个博物馆
By Jim Muir, BBC Correspondent, Baghdad
Background: 背景：网络巨头 Google 宣布从2010年1月起将会将伊拉克国家博物馆的宝藏的照片放在互联网上供全世界人民免费观赏。Google 首席执行官 Eric Schmidt 先生在参观伊拉克国家博物馆时宣布了此消息。
The Iraqi National Museum was heavily looted in the immediate aftermath of Saddam Hussein's overthrow in 2003. Thousands of priceless items were stolen. About one third of them have been retrieved.
The museum itself has been renovated and reactivated. Three times over the past six years, its reopening has been announced, most recently in February this year. But the security situation has never been stable enough for it to reopen its gates fully to the Iraqi public - only a limited number of its galleries have fully been restored.
Much of the restoration work has been sponsored by the Italian embassy, and the Italian National Research Centre is already running a ‘Virtual Museum of Iraq’ on the internet, showing many of the artefacts of ancient Mesopotamia. But Google, with its vast resources, is now planning to make a wider range of pieces available to a bigger public.
From January, around 14,000 images will be available on Google, charting the course of civilisation in Iraq from the Stone Age through Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian and later times up to the arrival of Islam. It won't be quite the same as visiting the museum and seeing it all for yourself. But for the time being, for most people, that's not possible anyway.