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  • » 08/22/2015, 00.00


    Unesco: Islamic State most brutal destruction since Second World War

    Irina Bokova, Director-General of the UN, decries the "Caliphate" is engaged in the “most brutal, systematic" destruction of historic monuments recent decades. Urgent call to stop trafficking of artifacts, among the jihadists main sources of income. A "priority" for all.

    Baghdad (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The militias of the Islamic state in Syria and Iraq are engaged in "the most brutal and systematic" destruction of historical and cultural heritage in the region, including archaeological sites, ever recorded since the Second World War, according to Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director General, the specialized agency of the United Nations that promotes cooperation among States through education, science and culture.

    The warning comes just hours after the last devastation at the hands of the  Sunni jihadists, who destroyed the Catholic monastery of Mar Elian in Syria. The comes on the heels of the destruction of other archaeological sites (Palmira, with the decapitation of the chief archaeologist  Khaled al-Asaad), Roman ruins and areas that date back to the Assyrian-Babylonian period, in an attempt to erase millennial cultures, religions and heritage.

    So far, governments and international agencies have sought only to limit trafficking in antiquities and archaeological  artifacts that have fallen into the hands of the Islamic State. In fact the sale of manufactured goods, along with the trade of oil, are a major source of income  for the "Caliphate".

    "We have not seen anything like this since the Second World War," said Irina Bokova, adding that we are in front "of the most serious attack, the most brutal and systematic destruction of world heritage". If you look at the pictures and current images of the sites taken by satellites, continues the expert, you can no longer recognize any site, only "hundreds of holes".

    Stopping trafficking of artifacts, warns the head of UNESCO, should be a "priority" for everyone.

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    See also

    21/05/2015 SYRIA
    Syria: Islamic State takes Palmyra, Unesco heritage site at risk
    The militiamen control the "totality" of the ancient city as government soldiers flee. Half of Syrian territory is in the hands of the jihadist group. Mass evacuation of citizens, in some places there are still "violent clashes". Archaeologists and activists call for the intervention of the US-led coalition. Now the IS points to the gas fields of Deir al-Zour.

    05/05/2016 18:48:00 RUSSIA – SYRIA
    Moscow holds liberation concert in Palmyra, UNESCO world heritage site

    Valery Gergiev and the Symphony Orchestra of St Petersburg's Mariinsky Theatre perform in the liberated city. A Putin supporter, conductor played in other warzones. Concert was broadcast in Russia. For analysists, Moscow wants to showcase its contribution to Syria’s renaissance.

    17/06/2017 17:56:00 IRAQ
    Christians and Muslims to rebuild Mosul university library after destructions by the Islamic State

    Professors, students, intellectuals and private donors, in Iraq and abroad, are contributing with books and donations. The initiative began three months ago, when the eastern sector of the city was freed. The university president bemoans the destruction, almost 100 per cent loss. The library held thousands of rare books inside. So far 6,000 books have been collected so far.

    16/11/2016 14:12:00 SYRIA
    Idlib, children kidnapped for organ trafficking is the new jihadi business

    After archaeological items and oil, Syria’s extremists are getting rich with organ trafficking. Several cases of missing children in the villages of Idlib province have been reported. The children are moved across the border into Turkey. Turkish media had reported the problem in the past before they were censored by Erdogan.

    07/12/2016 11:37:00 UAE - IRAQ
    Chaldean Patriarch: Save Iraq's cultural heritage threatened by war

    In Abu Dhabi the international conference dedicated to the preservation of cultural heritage in conflict areas. The goal is to collect 100 million to finance projects and initiatives. Unesco: Protection of heritage as "global strategy against hatred and extremism." Mar Sako: "Urgent need for decisive action by the international community" in cooperation with the Iraqi government.


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