“I am deeply shocked by footage released today showing the destruction of statues and other artefacts of the Mosul Museum. I condemn this as a deliberate attack against Iraq’s millennial history and culture, and as an inflammatory incitement to violence and hatred,” said the Director General.
“This attack is far more than a cultural tragedy – this is also a security issue as it fuels sectarianism, violent extremism and conflict in Iraq. This stands in direct violation to the most recent United Nations Security Council Resolution 2199 that condemns the destruction of cultural heritage and adopts legally-binding measures to counter illicit trafficking of antiquities and cultural objects from Iraq and Syria. This is why I have immediately seized the President of the Security Council to ask him to convene an emergency meeting of the Security Council on the protection of Iraq’s cultural heritage as an integral element for the country’s security.”
Large statues from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Hatra, as well as unique artefacts from the archeological sites of the governorate of Ninewah have been destroyed or defaced in the Mosul Museum, among many other pieces.
“The systematic destruction of iconic components of Iraq’s rich and diverse heritage that we have been witnessing over the past months is intolerable and it must stop immediately”, said the Director-General, reiterating her numerous previous statements on this matter.