UNESCO exhibit in Venice focuses on rebuilding Mosul websites

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VENICE, Italy (AP) — The United Nations’ cultural company has opened an exhibit detailing plans to revive multicultural landmarks within the Iraqi metropolis of Mosul, underlining the function of structure in serving to heal wounds.

The exhibit, “Revive the Spirit of Mosul,” is being on the sidelines of the seventeenth Worldwide Structure Exhibition, which opened Saturday after a one-year pandemic delay underneath the title: “How will we dwell collectively?”

The Venice Biennale’s central query resonates specifically in Iraq, which is experiencing turbulent change, and the previous metropolis of Mosul, the place 80% of the town’s monuments have been destroyed by extremists in the course of the metropolis’s 36-month occupation by the Islamic State group.

Iraq is one in every of three nations taking part for the primary time on the Biennale, with an exhibit by Rashad Salim titled “Ark Re-Imagined” that’s an inventive examination of the influence of the good flood in historical Mesopotamia.

The UNESCO exhibit, within the Zorzi Palace the place the company’s regional places of work are homes, unveils the successful undertaking for restoring the Al-Nouri Mosque, constructed within the twelfth century and as soon as well-known for its leaning minaret. IS chief Abut Bakr al-Baghdadi declared an Islamic caliphate from the mosque in 2014, and IS extremists blew it up as Iraqi forces closed in in 2017.

“Therapeutic wounds means rebuilding the town and its historic cloth. It additionally means reviving the spirit of Mosul, by heritage, tradition and schooling,’’ UNESCO Director-Basic Audrey Azoulay mentioned in an speech opening the exhibit on Friday. “The spirit of Mosul is, at first, mirrored within the range of its communities, which had lived collectively peacefully for hundreds of years.”

A global jury final month selected a undertaking by Egyptian architects led by Salah El Din Samir Hareedy to rebuild the mosque, a part of a UNESCO undertaking that can even rebuild the Al-Habda minaret and the church buildings of Al-Tahera and Al-Saa’a.

The brand new Al-Nouri Mosque might be practically an identical to the previous one to the informal eye, whereas the prayer corridor will include extra pure mild and enlarged areas for ladies and VIPs. The successful undertaking additionally goals to reinforce the function of the mosque’s central courtyard as an city hub for the previous metropolis.

Work to stabilize the websites started in 2020. Native communities have indicated a desire to revive the Al-Habda minaret because it was earlier than the IS occupation, UNESCO officers mentioned, whereas designs for the 2 church buildings haven’t but been chosen.

UNESCO’s $50 million undertaking to revive Mosul was introduced in 2018 and is funded by the United Arab Emirates. It additionally goals to revive the cultural life and variety of a metropolis that for 1000’s of years was a business, mental and cultural crossroads. UNESCO can be rehabilitating historic homes within the previous metropolis with European Union help.

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