The architects chosen to rebuild the Al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul say their proposal is on track despite opposition to its modernist design.
The mosque is one of dozens of religious monuments that were destroyed, along with thousands of houses, in fighting against Islamic State insurgents in 2017. (See a related article, “Two Caliphates Fall: Mosul Survives.”)
The following year, after government forces recaptured Iraq’s second largest city, Audrey Azoulay, director-general of Unesco, launched the initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul.”
Its centerpiece is a $50 million project, supported by the United Arab Emirates, to rebuild three iconic landmarks including the 12th-century tilted brick minaret near the mosque. The others are the Al-Tahera Syriac Catholic Church, and the Conventual Church of Our Lady of the Hour, both 19th-century buildings.
In April this year, an entry titled “Courtyards Dialogue” from eight Egyptian architects won Unesco’s international competition for the reconstruction of the mosque complex. But its modernist design stirred outcry among Iraqi architects and many local people.