A view shows inside the Citadel of Erbil in Erbil, Iraq April 23, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari
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High on a rocky outcrop, just 50 miles from the fighting that is wrecking historic sites across Iraq, workers are busy laying out floor tiles, determined to save at least one ancient structure amid the turmoil. The team is rebuilding the last remains of the fortified citadel in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Irbil, constructed on top of the world's longest continuously occupied site according to UNESCO, parts of it up to 8,000 years old.The autonomous government has taken advantage of the region's relative stability to invest $15 million in rebuilding the citadel, authorities say.Other houses were left abandoned when the government moved out the citadel's last permanent residents around 2008 to start renovating the site.
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