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Bull of Nimrud: Italy donates 3D-printed replica of ISIS-destroyed Assyrian statue to Iraq

The Bull of Nimrud, a full-sized reconstruction of the bull figure from the ancient Assyrian city Nimrud, on display in the Reborn from Destruction exhibition at the Colosseum in October 2016.—X@RainMaker1973
“The Bull of Nimrud,” a full-sized reconstruction of the bull figure from the ancient Assyrian city Nimrud, on display in the “Reborn from Destruction” exhibition at the Colosseum in October 2016.—X@RainMaker1973 

Italy has made a significant cultural gesture by donating a 3D-printed replica of the Assyrian statue, known as the “Bull of Nimrud,” to Iraq, CNN reported. 

 Destroyed by ISIS in 2015, the original statue dates back to the ninth century BC and was a symbol of the Assyrian civilisation. Italian artisans utilised 3D-printing technology to recreate the 5-meter-tall monument, and the replica, previously exhibited at the Colosseum in Rome and UNESCO headquarters in Paris, has found its permanent home outside the Basrah Museum in Basra, Iraq.

Former culture minister Francesco Rutelli, involved in the project through Associazione Incontro di Civiltà, referred to the donation as “a small miracle of Italian soft power, of our cultural diplomacy.” 

The Bull of Nimrud, originally located in the ancient city of Nimrud near modern-day Mosul, was among the precious artefacts destroyed by ISIS during their attack on the archaeological site in 2015.

Italy’s current culture minister, Gennaro Sangiuliano, highlighted Italy’s commitment to safeguarding cultural heritage, stating that it represents the soul of a nation and embodies its history. The initiative reflects Italy’s dedication to international collaboration in cultural heritage protection and the enhancement of humanity’s heritage.

The replica’s creation involved studying photos and videos of the original monument and using a 3D printer to produce a fibreglass copy covered with stone dust for authenticity. 

Financed by Associazione Incontro di Civiltà, the Bull of Nimrud’s return to Iraq follows a series of cultural restitutions, demonstrating Italy’s commitment to preserving and sharing global history.

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