- Mosul Museum in Iraq has reopened, six years after it was ransacked by ISIS and its exhibits destroyed
- The museum is hosting a sculpture exhibition by Iraqi artist Omer Qais in its refurbished royal reception hall
- Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, was overrun by ISIS in 2014 as it rapidly caputred territory in the Middle East
- The Islamists destroyed many of the artefacts, which they believe represent false Gods and sacreligious idols
An Iraqi museum that was infamously ransacked by ISIS jihadists who destroyed and looted its artefacts has reopened to the public.
Mosul Museum, in Iraq‘s second-largest city, is hosting a sculpture exhibition by Iraqi artist Omer Qais in its restored royal reception hall, four years after it was plundered by the Islamic extremists.
ISIS overran Mosul in 2014, scattering the Iraqi army with a lightning-fast assault that announced the terror group as a major force in the Middle East.
The museum was one of the group’s first targets in the newly-occupied city, as hardline fighters destroyed artefacts that they consider to depict false Gods and idols.
Many of the relics dated from the Sumerians, one of the first human civilisations whose people lived along the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers some 3,000 years ago.
Sculptures, pottery and cuneiform writing tablets dating from this civilisation were among the works destroyed by ISIS troops, and were considered an invaluable chapter in the history of human development.
Curators have been working to restore the museum to a semblance of its former glory ever since it was recaptured by Iraqi troops with assistance from the US-led coalition in 2017.
The museum partially reopened in January 2019, when it staged a contemporary art exhibition entitled ‘Return to Mosul’ in its reception hall.
However, much of the building remained closed while restoration work was ongoing while works were displayed on teporary walls.
Now, more of the building is accessible to visitors, while artworks are displayed throughout the main space.
Mosul Eye – a Twitter account run by a Mosuli historian – tweeted out images of the exhibition along with a caption which read: ‘Daesh is gone, our Mosul museum is back. Daesh will never win.’
Daesh is a term for ISIS which the group considers offensive because it sounds similar to their name in Arabic, but means ‘to trample underfoot’.