Constructed in 1979

Baghdad ministry proposes rehabilitation of historic planetarium

BAGHDAD — The Ministry of Youth and Sports has put forward a study proposing the rehabilitation of the historic planetarium located in Al-Zawra Park, at the heart of the city.

The proposal includes contributions from the German company that constructed the facility in 1979. According to the Directorate of Scientific Care, despite being the largest planetarium in the Arab world, the facility has seen financial support delayed, overshadowed by expenditures prioritized for military and security needs in recent years.

Built in 1979, the planetarium stands as a prominent scientific and astronomical landmark in Iraq, renowned for its distinctive design, strategic location, and its educational contributions.

Historically, Iraq was a pioneer in the Middle East in establishing such a facility, which has become a hub for students, academics, and astronomy enthusiasts alike.

Naama Al-Ghalibi, Assistant Director of the Scientific Care Department, shared with 964media, “We have submitted a study to the Ministry of Planning, which is tasked with project prioritization, to renovate the planetarium in Al-Zawra Park, a key cultural and scientific site.”

“The German entity responsible for the original construction of the planetarium has recently revisited the site and suggested several updates to modernize and enhance all its components to meet current global standards,” Al-Ghalibi noted.

The planetarium not only stands as the largest in the Arab world but also surpasses the size of its counterpart in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Al-Ghalibi further explained, “The government and the Ministry of Planning have established their priorities. Past proposals for the renovation of the planetarium were met with responses that a significant portion of the budget was allocated to security and defense.”