There are many examples for changing the cultural nature of North Iraq into a Kurdish dominated one: The ruined site at Khenis (also known as the Gomel Gorge) is one example. It clearly demonstrates the neglect of the Assyrian and Iraqi cultural heritage by the Kurdish Regional Government. The site was built around 700 BC by the Assyrian King Sennacherib. Wall reliefs with carvings and cuneiform inscriptions are decorating the cliff side. The carvings show images of King Sennacherib, the winged bulls Lamassu and other figures that tell the story of the canal system. The reliefs and the gorge water diversion projects were part of the massive system of water works needed to feed the Khosr River running through Nineveh. The photographs below illustrate the destruction and neglect of the Khenis site. A few years ago the ancient cliff side was detonated reportedly on behalf of the KRG. As if this was not bad enough, ob-servers told that Kurdish militia regularly practice their shooting exercises on ancient sites like these. Figures of the ancient wall relief are now lying in the river bank; bullet holes have desecrated the figures and the remains of the cuneiform inscriptions.
- to stop destroying the cultural heritage in North Iraq
- to organize and fund the restoration of the Khenis site
- to strictly condemn these acts of vandalism
- to call for the restoration of the ancient site