Thursday, July 7, 2022

UNESCO exhibition in Venice focuses on reconstruction of Mosul sites

Venice, Italy – The United Nations Cultural Agency has opened an exhibition detailing plans to restore multicultural landmarks in the Iraqi city of Mosul, outlining the role of architecture in helping heal wounds.

The exhibition, “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”, will be displayed on the sidelines of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition, which opened on Saturday after a one-year pandemic delay under the title: “How Will We Be Together?”

The central question of the Venice Biennale particularly resonates in Iraq, which is experiencing turbulent change, and the old city of Mosul, where 80% of the city’s monuments were destroyed by extremists during the 36-month occupation of the city by the Islamic State group was given.

Iraq is one of three countries participating for the first time at the Biennale, with an exhibition called “Arc Re-Imagined” by Rashad Salim, an artistic examination of the impact of the Great Flood in ancient Mesopotamia.

The UNESCO exhibition at Zorzi Palace, where the agency’s regional offices are located, recently unveiled the winning project: the restoration of the Al-Nuri Mosque, which was built in the 12th century and was once famous for its tilted minaret. IS leader Abut Bakr al-Baghdadi announced an Islamic caliphate from the mosque in 2014, and IS extremists blew it up in 2017 when Iraqi forces closed.

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“Healing wounds means rebuilding the city and its historic fabric. It also means reviving the spirit of Mosul through heritage, culture and education,” UNESCO Director General Audrey Azolle inaugurated the exhibition on Friday. Said in a speech while doing. “The spirit of Mosul is, first and foremost, reflected in the diversity of its communities, which had lived together peacefully for centuries.”

Last month, an international jury chose a project by Egyptian architects led by Salah Al Din Sameer Haredi to rebuild the mosque, which is part of a UNESCO project that included al-Habda Minar and al-Tahera and al-Sa’s Will also rebuild the churches. .

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The new al-Noori mosque will be almost the same as the old one, while the prayer hall will have more natural light and enlarged areas for women and VIPs. The winning project aims to enhance the role of the mosque’s central courtyard as an urban center of the old city.

The work of stabilizing the sites began in 2020. Local communities have indicated a preference for restoring the Al-Habda Minar as it was prior to IS’s occupation, UNESCO officials said, while the design for the two churches has not yet been selected.

UNESCO’s $ 50 million project to revive Mosul was announced in 2018 and is funded by the United Arab Emirates. It also aims to revive the cultural life and diversity of a city that was a commercial, intellectual and cultural crossroads for thousands of years. UNESCO is also rehabilitating historic houses in the old city with the support of the European Union.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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