The Iraqi Institute for the Conservation of Antiquities and Heritage (IICAH) occupies a 22,745 square foot building in central Erbil, a just below the 8,000-year-old Erbil Citadel. Formerly the Erbil Central Library, It was generously made available, rent free, by the Governor of Erbil. The building was completely renovated in 2009 with funding totaling $2.5 million provided by the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government to provide classroom, laboratory and dormitory space for IICAH. Staff from the University of Delaware, Winterthur Museum, and the Walters Art Museum and the National Park Service worked in partnership with the Governor's Office to design and develop a well-equipped training institute where modern concepts in cultural and historic preservation could be taught. The KRG provides utilities, support staff (security, IT, housekeeping, etc.) and maintains the facility.
The Institute, located within a walled compound with a manned security gate, now includes:
- fully-equipped conservation laboratories (including a general lab, a "clean lab," and a "dirty lab")
- a digital documentation laboratory (CAD, GIS, Digital Imaging)
- a secure collections storage room
- three Wi-Fi equipped classrooms
- a library stocked with books and periodicals donated by U.S and Iraqi individuals and institutions
- office, conference, gathering and exhibit/event spaces
- outdoor demonstration areas (designed for showcasing traditional building techniques and performing mock archaeological digs)
- cafeteria for lunch and tea breaks
- full accommodations for up to 28 students (equal
facilities on separate floors for 14 men and 14 women, including 2
kitchens, 2 living rooms, etc.) and a small gymnasium.
Because IICAH draws students from throughout Iraq, dormitory space was incorporated into the facility to provide a safe, economical environment and the opportunity to develop close relationships with colleagues.