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  • Writer's pictureVan Weyenbergh Fine Art

The Museum of Mosul has still not reopened but made a first step: Tuesday, a first exhibition,

Updated: Mar 14, 2019

The Museum of Mosul has still not reopened but made a first step: Tuesday, a first exhibition was inaugurated in an annex building of the second museum of Iraq. The Islamic State ( ISIS ) methodically destroyed the historical treasures.

For the first time since the Isis jihadists seized the northern city in the summer of 2014, the visitors, who came massively, were able to discover paintings by local artists or from elsewhere in the museum of Mosul. The royal reception room, "the oldest official building in the city", was "completely renovated" and is "used for the first time" with this exhibition, so explained to the AFP one of the organizers of the event. This exhibition in this location is the proof that the war did not kill Mosul and on the contrary it is in full rebirth," says Houda Hani, a 25-year-old student.

The museum, a ocher stone building with a sleek architecture, remains closed, "for security reasons," says AFP Zeid Saadallah, the director of the museum. We need "protect what remains" inside the building that still bears the traces of fighting: marble plates are torn from the facade, windows are pierced by bullets. In this museum that contained priceless objects, ISIS has demolished with sledgehammers and jackhammers ancient statues and pre-Islamic treasures, The scene was documented in a video released in February 2015. They particularly, destroyed completely two human-faced Assyrian winged bulls, more than two meters tall and with a weight of more than four tons, also a winged lion of similar sizes.

To try to revive them, the museum relies on new technologies, such as 3D printing. At the same time a foundation created by France and the United Arab Emirates, ALIPH, has already allocated 480,000 dollars for the initial phase of restoration of the museum. After the proclamation in 2014 of its "caliphate" in Iraq and Syria, IS has multiplied massive destructions, ravaging ancient sites, as Nimrod, jewel of the Assyrian empire founded in the thirteenth century BC. Bulldozers, jackhammers and explosives destroyed the antique Site. Elsewhere, Isis started antiques trades to finance they activities.

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