The Restoration of the Aghawat Mosque in Mosul – a Cultural Heritage Project aiming to Strengthen Peaceful Coexistence between the Religions
The agreement on the project which is meant to protect cultural diversity, was signed on Sunday, April 14, 2019 by UNESCO and the German Embassy in BaghdadApril 25th, 2019
After being recaptured by the Iraqi armed forces in 2017 from the control of the Islamic State, the Federal Foreign Office is supporting the reconstruction and restoration of the mosque complex through its Cultural Preservation Program.
The 19th century mosque, situated beside the historic bridge over the Tigris River, is one of the most striking sacred buildings in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
The project is being carried out in cooperation with UNESCO, the Federal Foreign Office providing funding of 450,000 euros until 2021 for the reconstruction.
During a visit to Iraq in December 2018, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said: “Following the war and conflict, a new phase is starting in Iraq, and it is important that the Iraqi population can also see this.”
The project aims not only to protect cultural diversity but also to help foster peaceful coexistence between the religions, as Mosul represents Iraq’s religious and ethnic diversity. “Cultural heritage provides orientation and gives people a sense of identity. In this way, it can also play a part in reconciliation,” Maas said during his visit to Iraq.
The project also aims to create jobs for people in Mosul. Therefore, the restoration process will begin with the inventory of the damage and the remains of the mosque, while local experts will be trained in restoration and conservation techniques.
Other cultural heritage projects, supported by the Federal Foreign Office in Iraq, is the « Stunde Null: A Future for the Time after the Crisis », a training program for Iraqi archaeologists, established in 2016.
The Federal Foreign Office is also providing funding for an excavation campaign in the ancient city of Nineveh and for the conservation measures in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site of Uruk, an ancient Near Eastern city dating from the fourth millennium BC.