Culture

Sculptor takes it upon himself to recreate sculptures in Mosul destroyed by ISIS

Iraq

Since the defeat of the ISIS in December 2017, Iraqi sculptors began rebuilding some of Mosul's famous heritage that was destroyed by the militant group.

Sculptors in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq have begun remolding and rebuilding many historical sites and statues that were destroyed by ISIS. Nizar Abdellatif, a sculptor from Mosul, is one such person who has taken it upon himself to reconstruct some of the statues and sculptures that decorated the city at one point.

“The statues that were destroyed in the city of Mosul are many and must be renovated,” said Nizar. “We will return statues to their places in the historic city of Mosul.”
Despite receiving no support from any government or international institutions, the sculptor launched an initiative with other fellow sculptors to recreate some of the monuments in the city on their expanse.

Amongst the first statues that the sculptors rebuilt was the Sawwas statue dedicated to the liquorice juice sellers that once wandered the city quenching residents’ thirst.

“The Sawwas Statue is one of the most important statues of Mosul that was destroyed,” said one of the sculptors working with Nizar. “It is adored by the people of Mosul, so we thought it would be the first piece of heritage to be renovated in the city of Mosul.”

Within two months of the launch of the project, the sculptors completed the Sawwas statue, which is now ready to be placed back into a roundabout in eastern Mosul.

While the UN estimates that it will take at least ten years to rebuild the city of Mosul to the massive damage that was inflicted on it, citizens have begun taking up initiatives to rebuild their city’s landmarks and sites of cultural heritage. Amongst one of the first projects that were launched was the rebuilding of the al-Nuri Mosque in Mosul’s Old City and the old Souqs nearby.

Furthermore, artists and painters in the city have attempted to beautify their city with colour and life after it was dawned with ISIS’ black flags and terrorising messages.

While the rehabilitation of the city will take much longer and will require more than individual efforts, the beautification of the city through the revival of cultural heritage is a positive step towards encouraging citizens to resume normalcy.