Italy donates Iraq copy of Bull of Nimrud statue that ISIS destroyed

The Bull of Nimrud was among the valuable artifacts destroyed by ISIS in 2015

Italy has made a big cultural gesture by gifting Iraq a 3D-printed facsimile of the Assyrian monument known as the “Bull of Nimrud,” according to CNN.

ISIS destroyed the original statue in 2015, which dates back to the ninth century BC and was a symbol of the Assyrian civilization. Italian artists used 3D-printing technology to rebuild the 5-meter-tall monument, which had previously been shown at the Colosseum in Rome and the UNESCO offices in Paris. The copy now has a permanent home outside the Basrah Museum in Basra, Iraq.

Former culture minister Francesco Rutelli, who worked on the initiative through Associazione Incontro di Civiltà, described the contribution as “a small miracle of Italian soft power, of our cultural diplomacy.”

The Bull of Nimrud, formerly located in the ancient city of Nimrud in modern-day Mosul, was one of the valuable artifacts destroyed by ISIS during their raid on the archeological site in 2015.

Gennaro Sangiuliano, Italy’s current culture minister, emphasized the country’s dedication to preserving cultural heritage, adding that it reflects the essence of a nation and embodies its past. The program demonstrates Italy’s commitment to international collaboration in the conservation and promotion of cultural treasures.

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The replica was created by examining images and videos of the original monument and using a 3D printer to construct a fibreglass facsimile coated in stone dust for authenticity.

The Bull of Nimrud’s return to Iraq, funded by Associazione Incontro di Civiltà, is one of a sequence of cultural restitutions that demonstrate Italy’s dedication to conserving and sharing world heritage.

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