Sunday, 03 May 2020 17:19

UNESCO, with the generous support of Germany, initiates the first phase of activities at the Al-Aghawat Mosque in the old city of Mosul

3 May 2020, Mosul, Iraq - The restoration and rehabilitation of the Aghawat Mosque Complex in the Old City of Mosul is well underway. In close coordination with the Iraqi Armed Forces, UNESCO initiated the first phase of activities by clearing the rubble and UXOs from the complex as well as securing the project site for reconstruction.

The mosque, which dates from the 19th century, is situated beside the historic bridge over the Tigris River. With its white dome, it is one of the most striking sacred buildings in the city of Mosul. The project serves to protect cultural diversity and coexistence between the religions, as Mosul represents Iraq's religious and ethnic diversity.

The first step in the restoration will be to take an inventory of the damage and the surviving historic architectural element of the mosque complex. At the same time, local experts will be trained in restoration and conservation techniques. The project includes skills development and job creation components to provide young men and women from Mosul with a source of livelihood through the heritage rehabilitation sector, highlighting the rich cultural diversity embodied in Mosul's old city.

This initiative is made possible with the generous support of the Government of Germany and coordinated work with the Government of Iraq, local partners and international experts. It is being undertaken as a major part of UNESCO’s Initiative to Revive the Spirit of Mosul. This initiative includes three main strategic areas: education, cultural life and heritage.

The primary goal of the Aghawat Mosque project is to contribute to the safeguarding of Mosul's cultural diversity, both in terms of human fabric and surviving cultural heritage. UNESCO has undertaken the delicate task of reconstruction from amidst the ruins, while ensuring strict adherence to the historic integrity of the structures.

In February 2018, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, launched the flagship initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” as the Organization’s response for the recovery of one of Iraq’s iconic cities. Reviving Mosul is not only about reconstructing heritage sites, it is about empowering the population as agents of change involved in the process of rebuilding their city through culture and education. It is with a strong message of hope and resistance to Iraq and to the world, a message that an inclusive, cohesive and equitable society is the future that Iraqis deserve, that the “Revive the spirit of Mosul” Flagship Initiative was born.


Husamaldeen El-Zubi, Public Information Officer
UNESCO, Baghdad, Iraq
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Additional Info

  • Agency: UNESCO

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