Newly appointed Ambassador of the EU upholds support for UNESCO flagship initiative in Iraq

Mosul, Iraq
11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Under the framework of the Revive the Spirit of Mosul initiative, the newly appointed EU Ambassador to Iraq upheld his support for the work of UNESCO.

Newly appointed Ambassador of the EU upholds support for UNESCO flagship initiative in Iraq

The Al-Nouri Mosque complex in Mosul and the Erbil Citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage, are two of the most iconic historical sites in Iraq that got heavily damaged in recent conflicts. UNESCO’s flagship initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” focuses on the human dimension and seeks to rehabilitate and reconstruct damaged or destroyed cultural heritage, the education system and to revitalize the cultural life. Under the framework of this major initiative, the newly appointed EU Ambassador to Iraq, H.E. Martin Huth, upheld his support for the work of UNESCO and visited the two historic sites.

UNESCO representatives welcomed the visit of the Ambassador at the Al-Nouri Mosque complex in Mosul. Brendan Cassar, Head of Culture Unit in UNESCO Iraq briefed the Ambassador on a walking tour of sites in the old city. The European Union is contributing 20 million Euros through UNESCO to the reconstruction of historic buildings in Mosul which includes houses, schools and cultural infrastructure.

The programme also supports the revival of the cultural life of the city by promoting books and literature, art and artists and cultural events.

Afterwards, H.E. Huth participated in a walking tour of the Erbil citadel World Heritage property, accompanied by the high commission for the Erbil citadel revitalization and UNESCO Iraq.

The EU is supporting a programme of cooperation with the authorities and UNESCO Iraq to continue the conservation and revitalization of the citadel.

The programme involves the rehabilitation of historic buildings in and around the citadel, support for cultural activities and training on heritage management and tourism and hopes to generate employment opportunities for the local community and IDPs.

For centuries, Mosul has been a crossroad for culture and a melting pot of people and ideas in the Middle East. But the occupation left the city in ruins – homes and historical sites lie in rubble. Not a single structure in the city has been spared from violent destruction. UNESCO’s flagship initiative Revive the Spirit of Mosul focusses on the human dimension of reconstruction. With the full support of the Government of Iraq and of the UN Secretary-General, UNESCO will coordinate international efforts in two main areas: the restauration and rehabilitation of cultural heritage and the revival of educational and cultural institutions.