Thursday, Iraqi officials announced that the once-famous museum in Mosul, which has been closed to the public for 20 years, has entered the final phases of restoration. The museum is scheduled to reopen to the public in 2026.
Laith Majid, the director of Iraq’s antiquities authority, stated at a press conference, “Today, in the city of two springs, we celebrate the launch of the Mosul Museum’s rehabilitation project.”
“This museum, also a symbol of museums in Iraq, was the target of a blind barbarian assault,” Majid said about IS’s destruction.
In 2015, the jihadists used sledgehammers and power tools to deface ancient statues and pre-Islamic artifacts housed in the museum, broadcasting an infamous video of the destruction. A bomb detonation left a gaping hole in the floor of the museum’s renowned Assyrian gallery.
Khair al-Din Ahmed Nasser, director of antiquities in the Nineveh province, of which Mosul is the capital, stated, “A portion of this cavity will be preserved as a historical record of what has been committed.”
As part of efforts supported by the Louvre Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, and the World Monuments Fund, a new exhibit highlighting the museum’s history, collection, and current restoration plans was inaugurated.