Emirates News Agency – Reconstruction work begins on Al-Tahera Syriac Catholic Church in Mosul Old City

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ABU DHABI, September 10, 2020 (WAM) – The restoration and rehabilitation of Al-Tahera Church in the Old City of Mosul is well under way.

In close coordination with the United Arab Emirates and local authorities, UNESCO concluded the first phase of activities by clearing rubble and unexploded ordnance, UXO, from the complex and securing the project site for reconstruction.

The reconstruction works are quite complex because large parts of its arches have been destroyed, as well as its exterior walls. Local contractors, under the supervision of qualified experts, carry out the work.

In addition, the open tender to select a design proposal for the reconstruction of the church and annex cloister is currently being launched, with the further development of the related implementation program for the actual execution of the works.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, declared: “This step sends a message of hope to the community of Mosul which has always been an incubator of religious and intellectual discourse. Through our restoration efforts with UNESCO, the UAE aims to rebuild various places of worship and enable displaced Muslims to return to their homes. Mosul has always been a place of tolerance and coexistence before several historical, religious and heritage sites were destroyed by extremists.

Al Kaabi stressed that the reconstruction of Al-Tahera Church not only consolidates Mosul’s position as a hub of rich cultural heritage, but also restores the religious diversity for which the Old City is known.

The UAE Restoration Project aims to empower Moslawi youth by creating employment opportunities, providing vocational and technical training and building the capacity of artisans in the field of cultural heritage preservation through a project strategy implemented in cooperation with ICCROM, ”she said. added.

An iconic symbol woven into Mosul’s history, Al-Tahera Church was built in 1859 and inaugurated in 1862. The church is located in the heart of the Old City, formerly defined by the Ottoman city walls on the shore west of the Tigris. , opposite ancient Nineveh. Its multiple altars, its dining room and its two sacristy rooms distinguish it from other churches of the same period.

UNESCO promotes reconciliation and social cohesion in Mosul through the restoration and reconstruction of iconic historic sites as part of the international initiative led by the United Nations agency “Revive the Spirit of Mosul”. The rehabilitation of this church is important not only because of its value as a cultural heritage, but also as a testament to the diversity of the city, a proud crossroads of cultures and a haven of peace for different religious communities over the centuries.

This project is funded by the United Arab Emirates and beyond the rehabilitation of architectural monuments, it includes on-the-job training for young professionals; capacity building of artisans (masons, carpenters, stonemasons, goldsmiths, etc.); job creation opportunities; and technical and vocational education.

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