Iraq to convert Hussein’s palaces into resorts, museums

IRAQ Several of Saddam Hussein’s most luxurious palaces are to be transformed into resorts and museums once the U.S. military withdraws its forces from them.

The Iraq government expects to take over nine of Hussein’s former palaces currently being used by U.S. forces within the next year, and it has decided to restrict their future use to tourism and cultural purposes.Tourism and Antiquities Ministry spokesman Abdul Zahra Talaqani tells Radio Free Iraq that some of the palaces will be refitted to serve as resorts and cultural institutions, including a palace in north Baghdad that overlooks the Tigris River that will be turned into a holiday resort.

Given their historical significance and lavishness, Talaqani believes the palaces will become tourist attractions in their own right among Iraqis and international travelers alike.