In a video posted on the Internet on February 26, ISIS members are shown smashing statues and destroying archaeological remains in a museum in Mosul, dating as far back as the 7th century B.C.
An ISIS spokesman, standing in front of the scene of destruction, says that “Allah commanded us to shatter and destroy these statues, idols, and remains.”
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova called the destruction of Iraq’s cultural objects “a deliberate attack against [the country’s] millennial history and culture” that only encourages sectarian violence and hatred. Bokova called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
The video comes days after reports surfaced that Sunni radicals set tens of thousands of books and manuscripts on fire in militant-held areas, including Mosul.
Experts fear that a collection of century-old Iraqi newspapers, as well as books and maps dating back to the Ottoman Empire were destroyed after IS militants bombed a public library in Iraq’s second largest city earlier this week.
— Archeology Monitor (@mathchess123) February 27, 2015
— Said Arikat (@SMArikat) February 26, 2015
— Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) February 26, 2015