Layla Salih outlines some of the reasons, religious, political and economic, for the destruction of Mosul’s heritage and examines the issues currently hindering plans for prioritisation and reconstruction.
Since the beginning of the conflict in Iraq, in addition to the tragic loss of life and an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, cultural heritage has been the target of intentional destruction on a staggering scale. We face an appalling situation, which calls for us to live up to our responsibilities. The objective is to expunge any trace of history of the country, along with the identities of its people.
It became clear for everyone what happened in Mosul and Nineveh as a whole city, which have been under control of ISIS during June 2014 and till now, and how they started devastating actions from the first month of their invasion; as a result of that, many different sites have been destroyed such as Assyrian cities, religious sites, museums…etc. In this presentation, I try to focus on the outcomes of destruction in order to document that and thinking about the future of heritage sites which have been affected during the war.
Work challenges will be different from one site to another, because of questions related to the scale of damage, the current situation for each site, and other aspects which we will discuss together. I’ll also address some of the International conventions in order to show what challenges we will encounter in their application when rehabilitating destroyed heritage sites.