A reproduction of the Bull of Nimrud at the Museum of Basra

Donation to Iraq with the support of Priorità Cultura


IED President Francesco RUTELLI on a mission to protect Levant Cultural Heritage

On February 6 2024 the reproduction of the Bull of Nimrud donated by Italy was inaugurated at the Museum of Basra, Iraq. The Italian Ambassador to Iraq Maurizio Greganti inaugurated the plaque at the Basra Museum in memory of Italy's donation to the Government and the Iraqi people of the reproduction of the "Bull of Nimrud'', a jewel of Assyrian art destroyed by the iconoclastic fury of ISIS-Daesh in 2015.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by numerous Iraqi authorities, including the Minister of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, Ahmed Fakak al Badrani, the Director of the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Ali Shalgham , and the Director of the Museum, Mustafa Jasim Al-Husseini, who celebrated this occasion as a happy stage in the reconstruction of the country's cultural heritage and a moral victory over the iconoclastic fury of Daesh in 2015.

The Nimrud bull was created for the exhibition “Rising from destruction. Ebla, Nimrud, Palmyra” promoted and curated by Priorità Cultura and Incontro di Civiltà Association chaired by Francesco Rutelli, with the financial support of the Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale Foundation, chaired by Prof. Avv. Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele, at the Colosseum in Rome in October 2016. The exhibition was inaugurated in the presence of the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella. At the end of the event in Rome, the bull was exhibited in 2017 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, becoming a symbol of the #Unite4Heritage action.

Through the generous initiative of the Incontro di Civiltà Association and the Priorità Cultura Association, the bull was donated to the Government of the Republic of Iraq which decided to exhibit the reconstruction at the entrance of the renovated Archaeological Museum of Basra.

The bull is a faithful reproduction of the statue of Nimrud, life-size on a 1:1 scale: a result of a skilful combination of new technologies and artisanal experiences of Italian restorers under the guidance of Nicola Salvioli, an expert restorer trained at the exceptional school of the Opificio delle Pietre Dure in Florence. The President of the Scientific Committee of the initiative is Prof. Paolo Matthiae, discoverer of Ebla in Syria, supported by Prof. Frances Pinnock and Prof. Davide Nadali, responsible for activities in Iraq.


Italian President Sergio Mattarella at the Colosseum exhibition in 2016

The copy at the Basra Museum

UNESCO Headquarters Paris, #Unite4Heritage action

Nimrud site after being looted and bulldozed by Islamic State fighters in 2015

Remains of the Bull of Nimrud after the iconoclastic fury of ISIS-Daesh in 2015

Basra Museum, Inauguration Ceremony February 2024

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