Italy Donates Reconstructed Assyrian Statue To Iraq

Bader Al-Sammarraie

Italy Donates Reconstructed Assyrian Statue To Iraq

Italy has once again demonstrated its commitment to safeguarding cultural heritage with the recent donation of a reconstructed Assyrian statue, the Bull of Nimrud, to Iraq. Destroyed by ISIS militants in 2015, the 5-meter-tall monument has been resurrected through a remarkable collaboration between Italian artisans and Iraqi authorities.

The Bull of Nimrud, originally constructed in the 9th century BC, once stood as a symbol of the Assyrian civilization’s grandeur. Its destruction was a devastating blow to Iraq’s cultural heritage and a loss felt by the global community. However, thanks to the dedication of restoration specialists led by Nicola Salvioli, the spirit of this ancient masterpiece lives on in a meticulously crafted replica.

Using cutting-edge 3D-printing technology, artisans meticulously recreated the intricate details of the Bull of Nimrud, ensuring that every aspect of its majestic form was faithfully preserved. The replica, which will be standing proudly outside the Basrah Museum, serves as a testament to the resilience of cultural heritage in the face of adversity.

The donation of the Bull of Nimrud is more than just a gesture of goodwill; it is a shining example of cultural diplomacy at its finest. Italian Culture Minister Gennaro Sangiuliano aptly remarked, “Italy is at the forefront of safeguarding cultural heritage because it is the soul of a nation and embodies its history.” The collaboration between Italy and Iraq not only underscores the importance of international cooperation in preserving cultural treasures but also reinforces the bonds of friendship between nations.

Francesco Rutelli, former Italian Culture Minister, hailed the donation as “a small miracle of Italian soft power, of our cultural diplomacy.” Indeed, the return of the Bull of Nimrud to Iraq symbolizes the enduring strength of cultural heritage to transcend borders and unite nations in a shared appreciation of history and art.

Former culture minister Francesco Rutelli and Italian president Sergio Mattarella at the Colosseum exhibition

The reconstruction of the Bull of Nimrud is also a testament to the transformative power of technology in cultural restoration efforts. By harnessing the capabilities of 3D printing, artisans were able to recreate the intricate details of the ancient monument with unprecedented precision. The result is a faithful reproduction that honors the craftsmanship of the original while embracing the possibilities of modern innovation.

The copy at the Basrah Museum

The return of the Bull of Nimrud to Iraq follows in the footsteps of other high-profile restitutions, including the recent return of a tablet engraved with cuneiform text and the insignia of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. These gestures of goodwill underscore Italy’s ongoing commitment to preserving cultural heritage and fostering international collaboration in the field of archaeology and cultural preservation.

As the Bull of Nimrud takes its place outside the Basrah Museum, it serves as a poignant reminder of the resilience of cultural heritage in the face of adversity. It stands not only as a tribute to the rich history of Mesopotamia but also as a symbol of hope for future generations. In an increasingly interconnected world, the preservation of cultural treasures like the Bull of Nimrud is more important than ever, serving as bridges between past, present, and future.


See more

More like this