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Monuments of Nineveh Destroyed, Looted by IS

Monuments of Nineveh Destroyed, Looted by ISMonuments of Nineveh Destroyed, Looted by IS

The Islamic State (IS) militants destroyed the ancient walls near Mosul, capital of Nineveh Province, Iraq, and took 4 winged statues to an unknown location, IRNA reported.

According to local witnesses, the militants detonated explosives by the ancient walls of Nineveh’s ruins. Residents in the vicinity of Nergal Gate, north of Nineveh said, the IS militants, who were accompanied by a group of “foreign experts”, blew up the wall last week. The “experts” helped the militants to remove 4 winged statues with human heads, dating back to the 9th century BC, from the ancient site of Nimrod.

Named after the Sumerian lord of the underworld Nergal, the northern gate may have been used for ceremonial purpose, as it was the only known gate flanked by imposing marble sculptures of winged bull-men called lamassu, the Assyrian protective deity.

It is claimed that the plundering of the ancient monuments was done with the help of some groups in the US and elsewhere. Hussein al-Sharifi, a member of Iraqi parliament’s tourism and archaeology committee, gave instances of smuggling of Nineveh’s monuments to the US and Israel.

The Iraqi government has urged the UN to help in retrieval of the monuments, but so far, no steps in this regard have been taken. Many politicians of Nineveh Province criticized international agencies and the media for showing apathy to the savagery of IS.

IS has been destroying the historical monuments of Nineveh Province since June 10, 2014. What are destroyed:

the shrine of Jonah/mosque of Yunus (Yunis), a stone’s throw from the walls of Nineveh;

Sultan Wais mosque in Farooq neighborhood of Mosul;

Tal Afar fortress, 50 km west of Mosul;

the shrine of Nabi Shiyt (Prophet Seth); the IS took some of the artifacts to an unknown location;

and a tomb attributed to the prophet Daniel.