'Save Iraqi Culture' – Baghdad, Iraq - Atlas Obscura

'Save Iraqi Culture'

A surreal monument depicting a five-armed giant supporting a toppling cylinder seal. 


In 2010, a bizarre sculpture was unveiled in the Mansour district of Baghdad, Iraq.

Designed by renowned sculptor Mohammed Ghani Hikmat, it depicts a muscular giant supporting a Sumerian-style cylinder seal, which is broken at the base and toppling, using all his five arms.

When deciphered, the cuneiform on the cylinder seal reads “writing began here” in reference to the Mesopotamian civilization’s role in the development of writing systems. Commissioned by the mayor of Baghdad, it was part of the city’s attempt to improve its long-tarnished image, to promote the richness of Iraqi culture and history.

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September 26, 2023

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