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A very special Book Fragment: Exhibition and accompanying Event

  • Exhibitions
Book fragment with Arabic writing burned on the edges © Judith Vittoria Klein​/​TU Dortmund

The story of the destruction of the University of Mosul and its Central Library by the "Islamic State" is made clear by the fragment of a book page on display, burned at the edges.

BrandMal: A document from Mosul tells history

Special exhibition in the foyer of the University Library / TU Dortmund University: from 30 October 2021 – 12 November 2021
Side event on the Open House in the Central Library (Room E 1): 30 October 2021, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

In the night of 9 to 10 June 2014, the terrorist militia „Islamic State“ (IS) captured Mosul, the second largest city in Iraq. In the course of these events, the university and its central library were partially destroyed as well. With the attack, the University of Mosul also lost its status as a center of knowledge: IS supporters occupied and misused the buildings as a military base. Until the recapture by the Iraqi army in 2017, numerous educational institutions and cultural sites in Mosul and the surrounding area suffered considerable damage from airstrikes as well as systematic destruction by IS fighters.
The focus of the exhibition is a book fragment rescued from the archive of the destroyed Mosul University Library. Scientists from the University of Mosul brought the fragment to TU Dortmund University as a gift in autumn 2019, when they came to Dortmund as part of the cooperation project Rethink Science and Education in Iraq (RESI).
The exhibited fragment will be accompanied by a poster presentation of this year’s delegation of Iraqi scientists and students who are guests at the Department of Spatial Planning.
The side event will be held on 30 October 2021 from 1 p.m. – 2.30 p.m. in Room E 1 of the Central Library.

Program of the side event

  • 1 p.m. Welcome (Prof. Dr. Tessa Flatten, Vice President International Affairs, TU Dortmund University)
  • 1.10 p.m. Welcome (Dr. Joachim Kreische, Director of University Library, TU Dortmund University)
  • 1.15 p.m. The RESI Project: Promoting international collaboration and scientific exchange between TU Dortmund University and the University of Mosul since 2016 (English presentation, Prof. Dr. Dietwald Gruehn, Department of Spatial Planning, Chair of Landscape Ecology and Landscape Planning, Project Manager „Rethink Science and Education in Iraq (RESI)“)
  • 1.35 p.m. The „Library of Exile“ (English presentation, Prof. Dr. Barbara Welzel, Department of Arts and Sport Sciences, Chair of Art History at the Seminar of Art and Art Studies)
  • 2 p.m. Destruction and Reconstruction of the Mosul University Library: Video Conference in English with Sayf Al Ashqar (Secretary-General of the Libraries, University of Mosul)

Image: Fragment of a manuscript from the destroyed Central Library of the University of Mosul (Iraq). Dortmund University Archive, Inventory Collections: Objects, call number UA 6/O/136. Photographer: Judith Vittoria Klein, TU Dortmund University, Department of Arts and Sports Sciences – Seminar of Art and Art Studies.