Iraqi archaeologist, museums champion, dies at 80

Published 01-20-2019

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BAGHDAD (AP) - An Iraqi archaeologist, who lent her expertise to rebuilding the National Museum's collection after it was looted in 2003, has died at the age of 80.

Lamia al-Gailani's family says she passed away on Friday in Amman, Jordan. She was a devotee of Iraq's heritage and museums, and one of the first female Iraqi archaeologists to excavate the country's ancient sites.

In the years following the 2003 U.S. invasion, al-Gailani helped identify and recover artefacts stolen from the National Museum in Baghdad for its reopening in 2015.

She also championed a museum for antiquities in the city of Basra that opened in 2016.

Born in Baghdad in 1938, al-Gailani received her PhD in archaeology from the University of London and resided in the U.K.

She is survived by three daughters.

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