ISIS has released a video showing terrorists destroying historic artifacts in the museum in Mosul, Iraq. This follows yesterday’s destruction of the Mosul Public Library. From Reuters:
Ultra-radical Islamist militants in northern Iraq have destroyed a priceless collection of statues and sculptures from the ancient Assyrian era, inflicting what an archaeologist described as incalculable damage to a piece of shared human history.
A video published by Islamic State on Thursday showed men attacking the artifacts, some of them identified as antiquities from the 7th century BC, with sledgehammers and drills, saying they were symbols of idolatry.
“The Prophet ordered us to get rid of statues and relics, and his companions did the same when they conquered countries after him,” an unidentified man said in the video.
The smashed articles appeared to come from an antiquities museum in Mosul, the northern city which was overrun by Islamic State last June, a former employee at the museum told Reuters.
The militants shoved stone statues off their plinths, shattering them on the floor, and one man applied an electric drill to a large winged bull. The video showed a large exhibition room strewn with dismembered statues, and Islamic songs played in the background.
The Reuters article gives more details and the responses of Iraqi and other scholars. An article in The Daily Mail shows some screen captures from the video. The original video (in Arabic) is online here.
We can be thankful that many of the ancient artifacts were removed from the area by the excavators and put on display in museums in Britain and France where they are safe, for now.
HT: Craig Dunning, Joseph Lauer