IRAQ: Previously destroyed by ISIS, statue of Virgin Mary raised on tower of Tahira Church in Baghdede

BAGHDEDE, Iraq — After much effort and work, the statue of the Virgin Mary was raised on the tower of Tahira Church in Baghdede (Qaraqosh) in Nineveh Plains in northern Iraq. The four-meter-long statue is made of plaster and is the work of sculptor Thabet Mikhail.

Tahira Church is one of the largest churches in Iraq, opened in 1948 after a popular effort by the people of Baghdede over a 16-year period. The church was completely destroyed by the Islamic State (ISIS) and is currently being reconstructed.

The tower of the church is the tallest and most ornate building in Baghdede and became a symbol of the town.

During the liberation of the city in October 2016 from ISIS, the upper part of the tower was severely damaged. It has since been reconstructed.