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Venice Biennale opens with exhibition on Reving the Spirit of Mosul

VENICE, MAY 22 – UNESCO, together with the Government of Iraq and the Ministry of Culture and Youth of United Arab Emirates, presented the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” exhibition as collateral event at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia.

The exhibition, opened until November 2021 at Palazzo Zorzi, reflects on the theme of this year’s Biennale, “How will we live together?” by presenting the experience of millennial peaceful co-existence of the City of Mosul. This exhibition casts light on the resilience of diverse communities in the face of traumatic events. It unwinds chronologically, against the backdrop of a curtain, narrating the different histories of Mosul, from the recent past to projections for the years to come, through four Rooms: the destruction, the liberation, the actions taken by UNESCO; the future, the reconstruction of Al-Nouri Mosque complex.

The exhibition is curated and designed by design firm 2050+ and produced and installed by ALTOFRAGILE.

One of the latest achievements of the “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” initiative showcased at the exhibition is the result of the architectural competition for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Al Nouri Complex in Mosul.  The winning design and runner-ups were announced on 15 April at the National Museum in Baghdad.

“The reconstruction of the Al-Nouri Mosque complex, a historical site that is part of Mosul’s fabric and history, will be a landmark in the process of advancing the war-torn city’s reconciliation and social cohesion,” declared the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay.

Over thousands of years, Mosul was a commercial, intellectual and cultural crossroads. Its very name, al mawsil, which in Arabic means link, junction, connector, encapsulates the idea of dialogue and diversity. Unity in diversity is central to the identity and spirit of Mosul.  It is woven into the fabric of the city and is visible in its built heritage of shrines, churches, mosques, madrassas and cemeteries.

When Mosul was occupied by extremists in July 2014, this fabric was ripped apart. Over 36 months, violent extremists destroyed around 80% of the urban landscape, including historic buildings like Al-Nouri Mosque, Al-Hadba Minaret and the churches of Al-Tahera and Al-Saa’a. Music was forbidden, bookshops and libraries were closed.

In February 2018, the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, launched “Revive the Spirit of Mosul,” one of the Organization’s largest operations in recent years.  Central to this initiative is the project to rebuild Mosul’s historical landmarks. Funded by the United Arab Emirates, the $50 million project also aims to help revive the city’ cultural life and diversity. In synergy with this large-scale project, UNESCO is also rehabilitating a number of historic houses in the Old City of Mosul with the support of the European Union. (@OnuItalia)

OnuItalia
OnuItaliahttps://onuitalia.com
Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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