PARIS, NOVEMBER 6 – A 3D replica of the Statue of the Lamassu, the winged bull which once protected the North West Palace of Ashurnasirpal in the archaeological site of Nimurd, Iraq, took place today at UNESCO’s Fontenoy entrance in the presence of Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, H.E. Faryad Rawandozi, Minister of Culture of Iraq, Francesco Rutelli, President of the ‘Incontro di Civiltà’ Association and H.E. Vincenza Lomonaco, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Italy to UNESCO, and Chairperson of the Culture Commission of UNESCO’s 39th General Conference.
The full-size reproduction of the statue, produced by the ‘Incontro di Civiltà Association, presided by Mr Francesco Rutelli, with the support of the ‘Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Italia e Mediterraneo’, will be exhibited at UNESCO until 3 December 2017, when it be given by Italy to the Iraqi Government as a sign of friendship.
Over the past two years, the archaeological site of Nimrud, once the capital of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, has been the target of deliberate attacks by extremist armed groups. Its world-renowned frescos and sculptures, which date back to ca. 883–859 B.C., have been severely damaged.
The Lamassu statue replica stands as a symbol of recovery and resilience, and raises awareness of the destruction of heritage in Iraq and its neighbouring countries. It seeks to remind us of the importance of safeguarding heritage to preserve our common human history and the role of culture in patching the social fabric that has been frayed by this destruction.
As Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, has said, “The damage inflicted to Nimrud is a major loss for Iraq and for the world. The protection and rehabilitation of Iraqi’s heritage, in Nimrud and beyond, is essential for stability and cohesion in the country and the entire region.” (@OnuItalia)