It’s rare to hear any positive news associated with cultural heritage and Syria these days, but there is a ray of hope.
A bearded man wearing sunglasses and a flak jacket sits on the ground beside a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as a pro-Assad song plays on the radio. He lifts up the lid of a cooking pot, and a genie emerges.
On Wednesday gunmen stormed the Bardo Museum in Tunis, a popular tourist destination located next to Tunisian parliament, killing more than a dozen tourists and taking others hostage inside the museum.
On this week’s art crime blotter: selfie-taking vandals at the Colosseum, former Vatican worker holds stolen Michelangelo letter ransom, and ISIS mounts cyber attack on Midwestern crafts museum.
The destruction at the Mosul Museum raises questions about why certain items were destroyed, while others were spared.
A video released on Thursday by ISIS shows members of the terrorist organization destroying ancient Assyrian artifacts at the Mosul Museum and the nearby Nineveh archaeological site.
On Sunday night, more than 8,000 books and manuscripts were destroyed after ISIS militants bombed Mosul’s Central Library.
Last week the United Nations Security Council adopted a new resolution to curb the trade of looted antiquities from Iraq and Syria. UN Security Council Resolution 2199 prohibits the trade of artifacts illegally removed from Syria since 2011 and Iraq since 1990.
Extended video confirms that the Victory Convent of the Chaldean Sisters of the Sacred Heart in Mosul, Iraq, was destroyed on November 24.
A “security source in Salahuddin Province” informed Iraqi newspaper Kitabat that “Daash” — the Arabic-language acronym for the Islamic State — “[had] blow[n] up the tomb of the father of Saddam in Tikrit.”
There is significant evidence that illicit antiquities trading contributes to paramilitary funding. It does not happen everywhere, all the time, but it does happen.
New video and testimony has emerged of Yazidis who have returned to the village of Babila (also known as Babira and Babirah), which was occupied and devastated by the Islamic State. It documents the community’s resumption of its life amidst the ruins of two temples.