Italy Gifts ‘Bull of Nimrud’ Replica to Iraq’s Basrah Museum

Italy Gifts ‘Bull of Nimrud’ Replica to Iraq’s Basrah Museum

Iraq has received a replica of the famous Assyrian “Bull of Nimrud” statue that stood in the Roman Colosseum and at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, according to the Art Newspaper. A gift from the Italian government, the statue now permanently resides outside the Basrah Museum.

The original monument, destroyed by ISIS militants in 2015, was made in the 9th century BC and stood over 16 feet. The replica was constructed with 3D printing technology.

“Italy is at the forefront of safeguarding cultural heritage because it is the soul of a nation and embodies its history,” Gennaro Sangiuliano, Italy’s culture minister, read from a statement at an inauguration ceremony at the museum attended by Italian and Iraqi officials this past Tuesday. “It will therefore continue to make every effort to advance international collaboration in the field of cultural heritage protection and to work for the enhancement of the heritage of humanity.”

The historical city of Nimrud, located near modern-day Mosul, was chosen as the capital by the Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (883–859 BCE). Ashurbanipal II built a grand palace decorated with multiple “lamassu” monuments: statues of lions or winged bulls, each with the head of a bearded man. The “Bull of Nimrud” is among the many cultural artifacts that ISIS destroyed when they attacked the archaeological site in 2015.

The replica was made by a team of experts led by restoration specialist Nicola Salvioli, who crafted a model of the creature out of polystyrene from images and video footage. Later, that model was used as the basis for a larger fiberglass copy that was fabricated by 3D printer. Once the process was completed, the monument was covered in a mixture of plastic and stone dust to give the appearance of authenticity.

The gift comes on the heels of a high-profile restitution in June of last year from Italy to Iraq of a tablet engraved with cuneiform text and the insignia of the Assyrian king Shalmaneser III. According to prior reports, “the circumstances surrounding the tablet’s arrival in Italy remain unclear.”

The post “Italy Gifts ‘Bull of Nimrud’ Replica to Iraq’s Basrah Museum” by Daniel Cassady was published on 02/09/2024 by