Erbil, Kurdistan Region – A videotape which appeared online last week, showing militants of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) destroying ancient monuments in the Nineveh Museum of Mosul in northern Iraq, has raised public concern about the historic monuments which date back to thousands of years. However, some have doubts emerged regarding the authenticity of the shattered statues.
Speaking to ARA News, Arif Hamdan, a history teacher in Mosul, said that the Islamic State did not demolish the original statues in Nineveh Museum, “but they manufactured counterfeit copies and smuggled thousands of original statues to Syria and sold them in the neighboring countries”.
Hamdan emphasized that the people of Mosul were aware that those pieces have been moved to the IS-held city of Shaddadi in Syria’s Haaskah, then to Raqqa, in northeastern Syria.
“IS members were seen by locals while they were transferring counterfeit statues from the neighborhood of Wadi Iqab in Mosul, after confiscating them from one of the shops in the industrial area where many of artifacts are being manufactured,” Hamdan told ARA News.
“The majority of the destroyed monuments which appeared in the video are most likely fake. We should look for the original ones before IS terrorists sell those historic pieces which are part of the Iraqi ancient legacy,” he added.
The governor of Nineveh province, Aseel Nujaifi, revealed for local media that the radical group has liquidated the museum of original statuses, pointing out that the Iraqi antiquities have been moved to Lebanon, Turkey and other countries.
“The governor further stated, “The UNESCO has informed the Iraqi government about this.”
“The radical group was easily breaking the statues and this was evidence that they were replicas” Nujaifi added.
“The statue of the Winged Bull is the only original piece which was destroyed, which hadn’t been transferred alongside others due to the difficulty of moving it from Mosul, as it weighed 30 tons and needed huge vehicles and equipments, unlike the small pieces which could be carried, transported and easily hid,” said Iraqi history teacher Arif Hamdan.
Reporting by: Sarbaz Yusuf
Source: ARA News
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