The Mosul Cultural Museum (MCM), located in the north of the country, was created in 1952. Rich in archaeological heritage, it brings together treasures dating from the beginning of written history. With the takeover of Daesh in 2014, it did not escape, like many historical gems, the looting and looting of the extremist group. In a February 2015 propaganda video released by the Islamic State, two Assyrian winged bulls and a colossal lion of Nimrud, two meters high and weighing more than four tons, are shattered by the masses and jackhammers of the jihadists. . More than 28,000 rare books and manuscripts also went up in flames.

Iraqi security forces announced in 2017 that they had “reconquered the archaeological museum”, in the words of General Raed Chakir Jawdat to AFP. The following year, an international consortium funded by the ALIPH foundation embarked on the rehabilitation of the second largest museum in the country.

The Louvre is working hard alongside the American museum complex Smithsonian Institution to rehabilitate the establishment as quickly as possible. Scientists have “focused on masterpieces, including the famous lion of Nimrud”, specifies Ariane Thomas, director of the department of Oriental Antiquities at the Louvre at FranceInfo. The work is colossal, more than 10,000 pieces must be glued together. In 2019, the MCM is hosting its very first exhibition since the sacking in the royal reception room, completely renovated and used for the occasion. Visitors can then discover the works of local or foreign visual artists.

In collaboration with the Parisian museum, the Iraqi establishment partially reopened its doors in May to host a temporary exhibition entitled “The Cultural Museum of Mosul: From Destruction to Rehabilitation”.

It has also entered the final phase of its restoration and plans to officially reopen in 2026. The Louvre hopes it will “become a center of culture again not only for Mosulians, but also for Iraqis in general and international visitors.” ยป