Revive the spirit of Mosul: UNESCO in action

Stabilizing the remaining structures

A crane is presently towering over the Al-Hadba minaret facilitating access to the remaining base of the monument, its cleaning and the stabilization of the historic minaret, built more than 840 years ago. A first set of stabilization brackets have been installed around the Al Nouri Mosque as well as Stripes around the pillars of the Mosque’s dome have been placed to stabilize the pillars, while the building of wooden pillars is taking place to serve as propping system. The Al-Hadba Minaret surroundings have been completely cleared, making it possible to walk around the remaining base, in addition to gaining access to the uncovered external staircase to the top of minaret. The clearing goes hand in hand with the recovery of possible historical fragments under the supervision of MoC.

Among the experts working with UNESCO there are structural engineers specialized in stabilization, consolidation and monitoring of historical and archaeological heritage who have been involved in a number of significant consolidation interventions on important monuments including the Tower of Pisa (Italia), the Temple of Jupiter in Baalbek (Lebanon), and the Temple of Qasr al Bint in Petra (Jordan).

In October, the Governor of Nineveh, Mansour Al-Mareed, announced the formal commencement of the rehabilitation works of the Al-Nouri Mosque in the old city of Mosul, under the supervision of UNESCO and Nineveh Governorate. The restoration of the Al Nouri Mosque and its fabled Minaret is made possible thanks to the support of the United Arab Emirates, a key partner of UNESCO’s initiative to “revive the spirit of Mosul”.

Demining and Salvaging

Demining operation are still ongoing. The area was extensively damaged due to booby-traps, hazardous materials and unexploded ordinance. In parallel to the stabilization works, UNESCO has undertaken the selection of valuable building fragments which are separated from the rubble for use during reconstruction, under the guidance of international experts and archeology students from the University of Mosul. These structural elements stored in a safe warehouse. The training of students of the departments of archaeology, architecture and engineering of the University of Mosul will be enriched by their participation in the restoration.

The monument will be completely restored in full respect of the site’s historic integrity. Beyond the rehabilitation of architectural landmarks, the initiative includes on the-job training for young professionals, employment of craftspeople (masons, carpenters, stone carvers, metalsmiths, etc.) and paid apprenticeships.

On 10 October, UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, and the Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development of the United Arab Emirates, Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, also agreed to undertake the rehabilitation of the Syriac Catholic Al-Tahera Church and the Latin Al-Saa’a Church in Mosul.

This is the first time our children attend an outdoor movie screening or a music show since the end of the war.

Reviving the Book festival

On 5 October, Mosul hosted its first book festival, with the support of UNESCO and the Book Forum, the NGO Guilde du Raid and other partners. The Ministry of Culture provided more than 4,000 books in various fields, with a significant discount. In coordination with the Mashki publishing house fifteen writers from inside and outside Mosul were invited for a book-signing session on the day of the event. The Festival also included a painting and photography exhibition, a film projection, and a concert. More than 700 of people attended the Festival, most of them families from the Old City of Mosul. “I am so happy,” said one of the attendees “This is the first time our children attend an outdoor movie screening or a music show since the end of the war.” Another explained, “we are very thankful, this event gives us the hope and power to rebuild our book shops again”.

All of the above is just the beginning of huge project, but such results strengthen our commitment to #Revive the spirit of Mosul.

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