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Czechs complete interactive map of destroyed heritage in Mosul

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Prague, Feb 27 (CTK) – Czech scientists have completed an interactive computer map that documents the vast destruction of the Iraqi city of Mosul by Islamic State radicals based on an analysis of satellite snaps, which may help restore the historical town in future, Miroslav Melcak has told CTK.

Melcak, an expert in the Arab language and culture, is one of the four scientists to work on the project named Monuments of Mosul in Danger.

The map, available on, is interlinked with the profiles of individual works of architecture and information on the extent of their destruction.

By the end of April 2015, when the last analysed aerial photo was analysed, the authors registered a total of 38 irreversibly destroyed monuments.

Five buildings have not been identified as yet.

Of the remaining 33 buildings that have been identified, only two are of Christian origin – a church and a monastery. The rest are Islamic buildings of various styles, including mosques, Islamic schools, vaults and shrines.

Several cemeteries in Mosul have been devastated as well.

Of the 31 identified objects, only four are 20th-century buildings. The rest are historical buildings either from the famous Atabeg era (12th-13th centuries) or the Ottoman rule era dating back to the 16th-19th centuries, Melcak said.

The list of destroyed monuments includes some of Mosul’s architectural dominants whose destruction was previously reported by the media. However, the destruction of other, less dominating historical buildings has gone unnoticed by the media, Melcak said.

The Czech team is now preparing detailed historical and architectural profiles of individual destroyed monuments based on the preserved picture and design documentation.

“The data will be a good basis for the possible future renewal of the town,” Melcak said.

Melcak works on the project together with his colleagues Karel Novacek, Lenka Starkova and Ondrej Beranek under the auspices of the Oriental Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences.

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