Babylon Province is to receive 100bn dinars ($85m) as it is named Iraq’s archaeological and historical capital.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki approved the funding for reconstructing historical sites, infrastracture and hotels. Ultimately, the goal is to attract tourists to the region, which hosts the ruins of the ancient city of Babylon, where the Hanging Gardens were purported to have been.
Much of the ancient ruins were thoughtlessly rebuilt under Saddam Hussein, likely burying ancient artefacts.
Iraq has had plans to make the area a cultural center since 2006 and the site opened to tourists in 2009.