The reconstruction of Iraq's second largest city, Mosul, will give the United Nations' cultural agency (UNESCO) a window to revive its fortunes. After the United States pulled out its funding last year, the organisation which was founded after WWII, plunged into turmoil
In preparation for UNESCO's visit to the ancient city of Babylon near Hilla, Iraq, the world heritage site is being cleaned from trash and military remnants.The Babylonian Theatre gardens and the gardens that face the front of the Temple of Ishtar are some of the main sites that were cleaned ahead of the visit.
Authorities in Dhi Qar Province seek to add some of the province's cultural landmarks into the UNESCO's list of World Heritage Sites, however they complain that the lack of care and funding has resulted in the landmarks physical deterioration.
The city of Mosul, which was the capital of the Islamic State in Iraq until less than a year ago, is planning to rebuild the historic al-Nouri Mosque and its hunchback minaret with financial support from the UAE and under UNESCO supervision.
In a joint Iraq/UAE effort in cooperation with UNESCO, the plans to rebuild the al-Nouri Mosque and the Hadbaa Minaret in Mosul have been announced. The reconstruction will take 5 years and cost about $50 million dollars. The UAE has pledged to donate that amount for the process.
The Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities has partnered with UNESCO to help restore some 1,800 heritage sites across Nineveh, many of which were destroyed by ISIS or neglected over the years.