Islamic State (ISIS) has burned 1,500 historical manuscripts in Iraq and sold Assyrian sculptures on the black market, the country's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities revealed yesterday. The Undersecretary of the Minister of Tourism Qais Hussein Rashid said that the province of Nineveh in northern Iraq, which is under ISIS control, is at the forefront of Iraqi provinces that contain the largest number of archaeological sites. Speaking at a symposium held by the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism at the Council headquarters in Baghdad, under the slogan "ISIS: The Enemy of Humanity, History and Civilisation", Rashid pointed out that the militants illegally dug into the archaeological sites and sold the pieces they found, noting that his ministry was able to stop the sale of some Iraqi antiquities in some international auctions. While he listed the sites that were destroyed, he reported that ISIS blew the shrine of Ibn Al-Atheer ten days after they occupied Mosul, and the Shrine of the Prophet Yunus, under which important Assyrian antiquities exist. He added that the militants have sold Assyrian sculptures and burned 1,500 manuscripts, expressing his fears that ISIS may demolish 520 heritage houses in Mosul. Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Adel Shershab, said ISIS had destroyed the archaeological areas in Iraq. Shershab called on "friendly countries to take a genuine stand to restore the stolen antiquities." Coinciding with the symposium, an activist from the northern city of Mosul told the Anadolu Agency that members of ISIS had destroyed the mosque of Imam Ibrahim. The activist, who requested anonymity, added that the organisation's elements booby-trapped the mosque, located in the west of Mosul, to blow it out remotely, noting that the organisation later brought bulldozers and machinery and demolished what remained of the mosque, which dates back to the Ottoman Era. Since last June, ISIS has been destroying archaeological, civilisational and cultural landmarks in the areas that are under its control in Iraq, particularly in the city of Mosul.
ISIS Burned 1,500 Historical Manuscripts and Sold Assyrian Sculptures
Posted 2015-03-12 21:36 GMT