$50 Million Fund to Revive the Spirit of Mosul

Al-Nouri Mosque, Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNESCO / ICONEM
Al-Nouri Mosque, Mosul, Iraq. Photo: UNESCO / ICONEM

The United Arab Emirates, UNESCO, and Iraq have signed an agreement whereby the Emirates will provide $50.4 million to contribute to the rebuilding of the cultural heritage of Mosul. Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, has welcomed the partnership.

The project supported by the UAE concerns the restoration and reconstruction of the historic landmarks of Mosul, notably the emblematic Al-Nouri Mosque and its celebrated, leaning 45-metre Al-Hadba Minaret, built more than 840 years ago.

The first year will focus on documenting and clearing the site as well as drawing up plans for its reconstruction. The following four years will focus on the restoration and historically faithful reconstruction of the Leaning Minaret, the Al-Nouri Mosque and adjacent buildings.

The city’s historic gardens and other open spaces and infrastructures are also part of the plan, which foresees the building of a memorial and site museum.

The rebuilding of the lost and damaged heritage of Iraq’s second largest city is one of the major parts of the greater Revive the Spirit of Mosul project, presented by the Director-General of UNESCO in February this year at the International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq which took place in Kuwait.

As a contribution to the UN Recovery and Resilience Plan for Iraq, and in full cooperation with the Iraqi government, UNESCO’s initiative aims to revive a spirit of peaceful co-existence and social cohesion, through education and culture, in Mosul and beyond.

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Rakesh Raman