PARIS – The United Nations’ cultural agency, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq have signed an agreement to finance the reconstruction of a landmark mosque in Mosul that was blown up last year by the Islamic State group.
UNESCO announced Monday that the UAE will provide $50.4 million to finance the project, focusing on the restoration of the Al-Nouri Mosque, built in the 12th century and once famous for its leaning minaret.
UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said “this is a historic partnership, the largest and unprecedented cooperation to rebuild cultural heritage in Iraq ever.”
IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared an Islamic caliphate from the al-Nouri mosque in the summer of 2014. The extremists blew it up in June 2017 as Iraqi forces closed in.