UN Targets Looting as Islamic State Smashes and Sells Antiquities

UN Targets Looting as Islamic State Smashes and Sells Antiquities
Bas-relief inscriptions at the Iraqi National Museum in Baghdad, Sept. 15, 2014 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).

Last weekend, the Iraqi government reopened the country’s national museum in Baghdad 12 years after it was looted during the U.S.-led invasion. The unexpectedly early reopening was a small act of defiance after militants of the self-declared Islamic State (IS), also known as ISIS, released a propaganda video showing a rampage through the Mosul Museum. Some of the objects destroyed by the extremists in Mosul were plaster reproductions, and when toppled over smashed quickly in a cloud of dust. But others were ancient limestone originals, millennia-old, struck with sledgehammers and jackhammers. The museum houses a vast collection of antiquities from […]

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