"Fifty proposals to protect the heritage of humanity”
Mosul, Nimrud, Hatra, Palmyra, Aleppo, Timbuktu — all these cities share the story of having suffered terrible destruction and looting since 2012. Having made this painful observation, the president-director of the Musée du Louvre, Jean-Luc Martinez, submitted a report entitled "Cinquante propositions françaises pour protéger le patrimoine de l'humanité" (Fifty French proposals to protect the heritage of humanity) to the president of France, François Hollande, in November 2015. These included the creation of an international fund to safeguard sites damaged by terrorism or war.
Creation of ALIPH
ALIPH was founded in Geneva on 8 March 2017. Its origins lie in the report submitted to the president of France (proposals no 9 and no 43).
ALIPH — an acronym that also designates the first letter of the Arabic alphabet — was created to protect cultural heritage in conflict areas. It does this through an aid programme that allows it to be flexible and to react quickly.
ALIPH has three areas of intervention: preventive protection to limit the risks of destruction, emergency measures to ensure the security of heritage, and post-conflict actions to enable local populations to once again enjoy their cultural heritage.
The Mosul Project
Following the liberation of the city of Mosul in 2017, the Iraqi authorities turned to the ALIPH foundation for help in renovating the museum. Devastated and looted by the Daesh terrorist organisation, the Mosul Cultural Museum is one of the most important museums in Iraq after the National Museum in Baghdad.
When ALIPH was officially created in the Khorsabad courtyard of the Musée du Louvre — as a nod to the Assyrian collections of the Mosul Cultural Museum — the Louvre actively committed to help and support this Iraqi museum. In 2018, this ambitious project was officially launched within ALIPH with the Musée du Louvre, the Smithsonian Institution (SI) and the World Monuments Fund (WMF), alongside the Iraqi authorities. This project, which is based on international cooperation, aims to completely rehabilitate the Mosul Cultural Museum by its reopening.
The project was created initially as a collaboration between several partners: the Mosul Cultural Museum and the National Museum of Iraq in Baghdad, under the aegis of the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) within the Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, the Musée du Louvre and the Smithsonian Institution (SI).
In 2021, the founding organisations formed a partnership with the World Monuments Fund (WMF) to begin the next phase of the project: the complete rehabilitation of the museum building.