Creativity flourishes as Mosul’s Fine Arts College officially opens
The newly-rehabilitated College of Fine Arts at Mosul University has been officially opened by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Government of Iraq.
The College, rehabilitated by UNDP with financial support from the United States Government through USAID, offers third-level art courses ranging from music, theatre, painting, and sculpture, and will benefit 600 students from across Iraq.
The renovation work included plastering and repainting the classroom walls, repairing doors and windows, replacing the roof and restoring electrical systems.
During ISIL’s occupation of Mosul between 2014 and 2017, the College suffered extensive damage and subsequently closed. Artworks were destroyed and strewn across the campus, as art-making was believed to contradict Islamic State ideology.
“Mosul once sat at the epicentre of Iraq’s cultural identity, so the reopening of this college is a significant milestone for local communities,” says Head of UNDP Stabilization, Dr Mohammedsiddig Mudawi.
“Art as a form of expression has allowed people of Mosul – many of them students who have been born into years of conflict – heal from the atrocities faced under ISIL. It’s wonderful to see a rejuvenation of this artistic talent here at the College,” adds Dr. Mudawi.
Joey Hood, Chargé d’Affaires of the US Mission in Iraq, says: “Through the United Nations Development Program Funding Facility for Stabilization, the United States is rehabilitating 14 buildings here at Mosul University, including the College of Fine Arts, where1 I am proud to see that students are once again in class.”
The ceremony included a theatrical performance by art students as well as an art exhibition in the College’s refurbished courtyard.
The College rehabilitation project is also supported by the Government of Canada, which funded the rehabilitation of water pump station on campus. Meanwhile, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) has funded the supply of furniture and equipment for the College.