Unesco launches competition for the reconstruction of Mosul’s Al-Nouri Mosque Complex


17 November 2020

Unesco has launched an open single-stage competition to reconstruct the 850-year-old religious site in Mosul Old Town, following its destruction in the Battle of Mosul in June 2017.

In 2018, Unesco, the United Arab Emirates, and Iraq jointly launched the Revive the Spirit of Mosul initiative, aimed at reconstructing Mosul’s lost cultural heritage, and reviving its creative and educational organisations.

The three parties vowed to rebuild the al-Nouri Complex and its minaret, as well as the Conventual Church of Our Lady of the Hour and the Al-Tahera Church in Mosul.

In the competition brief for the construction of the iconic 11,050sqm site, Unesco writes:

“The reconstruction of this important landmark of the city is of upmost importance to send a strong signal of resilience and hope, as a first step towards social cohesion and reconciliation in the post-conflict Iraq.

“Severely damaged in 2017, the complex will be the subject of an integrated rehabilitation program, meant to reconstruct the Al Nouri prayer Hall, and, at the same time, integrate new functions to be hosted in the newly designed or rehabilitated secondary buildings, which will enhance further the role that this important complex has played for the ‘Moslawis’ over the century.

“The program will also encompass the redesign of the open space and the relation of the complex with the surrounding historical urban fabrics, through its new gates and fences, in order to recover its central function in the urban life of the Old City.”

The competition will not comprise the reconstruction of the al-Nouri minaret.

The registration deadline is 12 January 2021, and submissions must be made by 26 March.