Fears grow for safety of Iraq’s cultural heritage under ISIS

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tags: Iraq, art, ISIS



Iraq has a long and rich heritage, home for thousands of years to mighty empires – Assyria and Babylon, the Abbasid caliphate – that ruled the region once known as Mesopotamia, widely held as the cradle of western civilisation and as a major centre of classical Islam. The region is thick with history, and historical artefacts.

But when in June the extremist Sunni group ISIS took over swathes of northern Iraq, within a day or two of taking Mosul the group issued edicts which included orders to destroy Shiite graves and shrines and other ancient relics – orders which appear to have been carried out, with six sites destroyed. Rumour and fears over the possible fate of the region’s even more ancient cultural heritage under this heavy-handed new regime have filled the gap since.




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