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"Stop the destruction of cultural heritage in Iraq"

23/03/2015

The Department of Prehistory, Ancient History and Archaeology of the University of Barcelona (UB) supports and joins the campaign fostered by international archaeological institutions and organizations like UNESCO, the World Archaeological Congress (WAC), the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA), the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD), the International Association for Assyriology (IAA), etc. strongly condemning the brutal attacks against the cultural heritage of Iraq, portable and immovable, happened during the last few months. The following examples are particularly horrifying:

It is important to remember that many other sites that are either on the UNESCO World Heritage list or on the tentative list are also in danger or have already been devastated in Iraq. These include Assur (Qal’at Cherqat), Samarra, Nineveh, Ur, Babylon, the Mesopotamian marshes, etc.

And the same is happening to many other renowned archaeological sites which have not been listed by UNESCO, like Sippar, Larsa, Uruk, etc. The Iraq’ National Museum in Baghdad was looted during the armed conflict that took place in 2003. The same problem is occurring in Syria, where the civil war is destroying and causing severe damage to several sites that are either on the World Heritage list or on the UNESCO tentative list. For example, the Citadel of Aleppo, Bosra, the ancient city of Damascus, Palmyra, Ebla, Dura-Europos, Mari, Ugarit, Tell Sheikh Hamad, Apamea, the Krak des Chevaliers, Hama, Homs, etc. The museums of Raqqa, Hama, Deir ez-Zor and Idlib have also been looted during the conflict.

All these conflicts are causing irreparable damage to unique cultural heritage, which are irreplaceable cultural heritage for Iraqi and Syrian people as well as for the rest of the world. 

The UB Department supports the international call to the Iraqi authorities, the experts and the people of this country to join efforts to stop the destruction of archaeological and cultural heritage in the country.

Finally, we also join the call made by the international archaeological community that alerts international authorities to stop the illicit trafficking of cultural objects stolen from the Mosul Museum.  

 

Links to international denounces

 

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