View of the reconstructed ruins of Babylon, 2005. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Photographer’s Mate Edward G. Martens.
In 1983, Saddam Hussein sponsored a reconstruction of the ancient city of Babylon, built directly over the ruins. The leader of Iraq attempted to liken himself to the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar, rebuilding with bricks inscribed, “This was built by Saddam Hussein, son of Nebuchadnezzar, to glorify Iraq.” Hussein built a modern palace over another section of Babylonian ruins. After the withdrawal of American troops from the area, the World Monuments Fund began working with Iraqi leaders to conserve the archaeological remains, but there are many challenges relating to the effects of the 20th century reconstruction and the damage done by the military.