ICC Note: During ISIS’ occupation of Mosul, the militants actively sought to destroy all symbols of Christianity. Before destroying churches, ISIS desecrated them. The famous Clock Church of Mosul was the target of ISIS’ rage; yet it managed to withstand the attacks. Almost a one year after Mosul was liberated from ISIS, the church is in danger of collapse. Reconstruction of churches is a monumental task, given that so many have received significant damage.
06/21/2018 Iraq (MECRA) – A report by Mosul Eye and a photo by Ali Y. Al-Baroodi notes that “Latin Church’s Tower is about to collapse, it requires an immediate action or we will lose it forever. Save the Heritage of Mosul.” The recent photo shows the historic clock tower of the church. An aerial photo from March shows the church amid the ruins of western Mosul. It is damaged but its domes and clock tower are largely intact. However the photo by Al-Baroodi shows that a section of the tower’s base is missing.
Churches in Mosul suffered grievously under ISIS with many of them damaged and desecrated. Destruction of the Clock Church was reported in 2016. “According to the Rudaw news agency, the terrorist group detonated several explosives in the church that was founded by the Dominican Order in 1872.” Part of a campaign that began after ISIS took over Mosul in June 2014.
The Clock Church has an interesting history. Paid for by Empress Eugenie of France, wife of the Emperor Napoleon III, it was given as a gift to the Dominicans in the 1870s. The April 2016 bombing did not destroy the whole church, despite initial reports. When it was damaged many said a “symbol” of Mosul was gone forever. “For 133 years, the clock tower was a distinctive mark of the neighbourhood, so much so that the area around it took on the name of the church; the house of worship was also known as As Sa`a by locals,” noted Niqash.
The current state of the church Mosul Eye writes is precarious. “To Unite4Heritage UNESCO @Dominican_Order Latin Church’s Tower is about to collapse, it requires an immediate action or we will lose it forever. Save the Heritage of Mosul.”
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