PARIS (AP) — The United Nations' cultural agency says reconstruction of Al-Nouri Mosque in Iraq's city of Mosul is scheduled to start at the beginning of next year.

UNESCO chief Audrey Azoulay says rebuilding the landmark mosque that was blown up by the Islamic State group in 2017 is one part of ambitious plans to stimulate culture and revive ravaged Mosul.

In 2014, IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi declared an Islamic caliphate from the mosque once famous for its leaning minaret.

Iraq's culture minister and other Iraqi officials were with Azoulay in Paris on Wednesday as she discussed the reconstruction.

She said they'd "agreed on a timetable that would see the reconstruction start in the first semester of 2020."

The United Arab Emirates is providing $50.4 million to help finance the work.

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