Five years after liberation, Mosul's landmarks are coming back to life
In 2018, UNESCO launched a flagship initiative to Revive the Spirit of Mosul, the UAE was the first funder and partner dedicating 50.4 million USD. After heavy preparatory work – documentation, demining, site clearance and rubble removal including cleaning and storage of rubble with historic value for their reuse, consolidation, surveys, public consultation, field and soil investigations, archaeological excavations, executive designs – the iconic monuments of the old city are now being rebuilt.
Today, UNESCO and the UAE unveil the visuals of the Al-Nouri Mosque and Al-Hadba minaret, as they will be in 2024, after the completion of the reconstruction works: the prayer hall and the minaret rebuilt as they were, places of prayer and landmarks for the whole population of the city, and the functional buildings improved to meet the needs of the religious authorities and the faithful.
Landmarks rebuilt as they were
These visuals are signed by ADD Architects, the winner of the international architectural competition launched for the selection of the reconstruction design of Al-Nouri Mosque, in partnership with the University of Mosul. They are the result of an extensive consultation with the population of Mosul and local and national stakeholders, including government officials, professors, historians and intellectuals. It took place in three stages: (1) a survey and consultation workshops at the start of the project; (2) first visuals again submitted for discussion in 2021; (3) now these final visuals integrating the requested modifications.
As can be seen in these images, the mosque and the minaret will be rebuilt using the maximum of traditional materials and reusing the heritage elements that were found and collected in the rubble. The design also integrates the archeological of the 12th century Prayer Hall unveiled at the beginning of 2022: visitors will access the remains from an external entrance that will not disturb the religious functions inside the mosque.
An exhibition for Mosulis
On the 5th anniversary of the Mosul’s liberation, UNESCO launched an open-air exhibition that shows on the achievements of its initiative to Revive the Spirit of Mosul: the reconstruction of heritage monuments, as well as the reconstruction of historic residential houses, and the revival of cultural life and education. An opportunity to celebrate and share the great progress that all the people from Mosul have achieved in the reconstruction of their heritage.
The exhibition is visible around the Al Nouri Complex until September and then will be displayed in the campus of the University of Mosul. It will also be presented in other places.
"Revive the Spirit of Mosul" initiative
“Revive the Spirit of Mosul”, launched in 2018, by Director-General Audrey Azoulay, is UNESCO’s most ambitious reconstruction campaign in recent decades. It is based on three pillars: heritage, cultural life and education, as essential drivers for the recovery of Mosul.
UNESCO is rebuilding iconic monuments - Al-Nouri Mosque, Al Hadba Minaret, Al-Tahera Church, Al-Saa'a Church - as well as 124 historic residential houses and the Al Ekhlas school, by mobilizing local employees and know-how. The UN agency also revives cultural life, supporting multiple activities such as the establishment of a film department at the University of Mosul and festivals. Finally, the Organization intervenes in education with a major program for the prevention of extremism.
More than $105 million has already been mobilized, thanks to the support of 15 international partners, in particular the United Arab Emirates and the European Union.