Art And Culture

IS Destroys Mosul Museum

IS Destroys Mosul MuseumIS Destroys Mosul Museum

The Islamic State (IS) has demolished the Mosul museum and smashed its ancient items, according to a video released by the militant group Thursday.

A group of undisguised militants appear in the video smashing the museum’s historical artifacts dating back to 7th century BC, Rudaw website reported.

“These statues are idols of the ancient people and they worshiped them against Allah,” says one militant in the opening of the video.

Mosul’s exiled governor Athil Nujaifi said that the objects destroyed by the IS were replicas, but some were original and excavated in Mosul.

“Thankfully, the original objects of the Mosul museum were taken to Baghdad and replicas left in their place,” Nujaifi told Rudaw. “But we noticed from the video that some original items were missing and that means they must have smuggled them out.”

In the video that it is believed to have been filmed last week, militants walk through the museum using sledgehammers and electric drills, destroying ancient statues and busts, saying, “Allah ordered us to eliminate these idols without worry even if they are worth millions of dollars.”

The Mosul museum was built in 1952 and it contained some of the oldest cultural, religious artifacts of the Chaldean and Assyrian civilizations who lived in Nineveh.

Since its takeover of Mosul last June, IS has destroyed many ancient Christian sites and religious shrines of both Shia and Sunni. Earlier this week, Mosul’s central library was ransacked by IS and about a thousand books and manuscripts burned.