Emergency restoration of the fresco of the Ancient Syriac Orthodox Church Mar Guorguis in Qaraqosh (Bakhdida)


Amount $ 15 000

Years 2021 - 2022

Operator Mesopotamia in cooperation with the Syriac-Orthodox religious authorities, the College of Fine Arts of the University of Mosul, and the Iraqi organization Hammurabi

project status Completed

Type of grant Emergency relief

(c) Mesopotamia
(c) Mesopotamia

Located within a Syriac-Orthodox religious domain ransacked by Daesh, the ancient church of Mar Guorguis was likely founded in the 6th century. On the outer wall of the sanctuary is a Byzantine-style fresco dating from the 12th-13th centuries depicting the baptism of Christ. It is the last medieval Christian fresco still visible in Iraq. In a poor state of conservation since it was uncovered in October 2005, the mural is now threatened by further deterioration (such as detachment of the plaster, falling fragments, depigmentation of the pictorial layer).

The project consisted of stabilizing the damaged fresco, restoring it, and presenting it in a new scenography.