Multiple statues have been erected across the northern Iraqi city, Mosul, since the Islamic State group lost control of it three years ago. Local artists have worked hard to create these masterpieces that represent the city’s resilience and are helping residents shake off memories of brutal punishments meted out by IS in squares and roundabouts, even as much of their city remains in ruins. These artworks have been placed on traffic circles and roundabouts where IS fighters used to behead or lash citizens a few year back when the city that had been an art, music and literature hub for centuries, was captured by the ultra-conservative fanatic group. When Mosul fell to IS, centuries-old artistic and cultural heritage was destroyed by the militants; activities related to art, music or literature were strictly banned, with any violation leading to public beheading. Among the new statues that have been placed on some of the busiest roundabouts in the city, are “My Lovely Lady”, “The Licorice Man” and a sculpture of celebrated poet Mulla Uthman. “My Lovely Lady”, a golden-tinted statue of a woman was placed in September 2018 at a roundabout which became a significant point for public beheadings. The artist Omar Ibrahim, who sculpted the statue in a secret basement during the IS dominion, says that he has attempted to erase the dark, horrific memories from the minds of locals through the statue that signifies Mosul’s defiance, resilience and rebirth. “The Licorice Man” is a new version of the pulverized figure which was placed in 1970s. It has gained so much significance that the area is now known as “Licorice Circle”. Sculptures of famous Iraqi poets Abu Tammam and Mulla Uthman made with Mosul stone or bronze were also squashed by the IS fanatics. Their remakes, prepared by young local artists, have been displayed in western Mosul. Due to lack of resources, cheaper metals have been used in them. “The Spring Girl”, a famous and favourite old figurine in Mosul depicted a young girl with flowing hair, holding a bouquet. It represented Mosul’s beauty and weather. The city is known as “The Mother of Two Springs” as the weather and environment exudes beauty and liveliness not just in spring but in autumn too. “The Spring Girl” was crumbled by the IS militants, and has now been resurrected in front of a ruined building, as a sign of revival of the war-torn city. The city’s rich history was ruined by the IS regime, while much of its infrastructure got destroyed during battles between government and the IS militants. Citizens had to flee to save their lives as IS extremists went on a rampage after capturing the city and massacred the locals. Mosul was reclaimed after a months-long struggle, but many of the displaced locals still have not returned to their homes as the devastated city, with just one public hospital and a few schools working, and unstable water and power facilities, offers poor living conditions. However, these statues are proving to be a breath of fresh air amidst the dark and gloomy atmosphere of the scarred city. IDPs who have returned to the city are often seen stopping by the statues to appreciate them, as these sculptures offer them hope of rebuilding their hometown and remind them of its resilience. Mosul’s administration is working to revive the cultural identity and beautiful heritage of the city by installing more historical symbols. Reportedly, a figure of Ibne Sina aka Avicenna will soon be placed to honor Mosul’s past as a destination for top-tier medical care.