The Mosul Cultural Museum building in Iraq designed by the celebrated architect Mohamed Makiya (1914-2015) is of national significance. Completed in 1974, it is widely considered a masterpiece of 20th century Iraqi architecture. The museum, the second largest in Iraq, was purpose built to house the finds from the archaeological sites of the region and as an affirmation of the ancient civilizations that have thrived there.
Following Mosul’s capture by Daesh in 2014, artifacts of global signiﬁcance were looted and destroyed and the Museum was compromised in a deliberate attack aimed at the erasure of history and culture. The attack led to the destruction of the celebrated Assyrian ‘guardian’ figures. This resulted in a large hole in the floor of the Assyrian Hall that destabilised the walls of the museum. Fires made by burning over 28,000 rare books also caused the reinforcement within the concrete floor to buckle.
The regeneration project led by Donald Insall Associates will see the building restored to Makiya’s original vision and the reinstatement of the activities as a modern, sustainable museum. A much-improved access strategy will deliver a more inclusive and flexible building, for both the staff and visitors, bringing the whole complex up to international museographic standards.
Donald Insall Associates is working as part of a wider team effort to bring The Mosul Cultural Museum back to life. The team is led by the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH), in partnership with the Musée du Louvre, the Smithsonian Institution, and supported and funded by the International alliance for the protection of heritage in conﬂict areas (ALIPH). The World Monuments Fund (WMF) joined the consortium in 2020 to deﬁne the restoration and rehabilitation programme for the museum building and its surroundings.
- Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH)
- Musée du Louvre
- Smithsonian Institution
- World Monuments Fund (WMF)
- International alliance for the protection of heritage in conflict areas (ALIPH)
- Architects and Design Lead: Donald Insall Associates
- Landscape Designers: Unit44
- Structural Engineer: Stand Engineers
- M&E Consultants: Studio Giovannucci
- Lighting Designer: Baldieri Lighting Design
- Security Consultant: Engap
The rehabilitation project was much welcomed by international press and organisation:
We are proud to be working with the World Monument Fund as lead architects on the restoration of the Mosul Museum, where the next phase of work has started. Our plans for the first floor and Assyrian Hall can be seen above.
You can also read more about the project, and plans for the Museum, here from the World Monument fund: Mosul Cultural Museum Rehabilitation Project Announcement | World Monuments Fund (wmf.org)