ISIS-Destroyed, 2,500-Year-Old Monuments To Be Restored at Iraqi Mosul Museum

In 2014, members of ISIS took hammers and slammed them into 2,500-years-old treasures at the Iraqi Mosul Museum. Since then, a part of Iraq broke and hasn’t been put back together. However, it’s time that the war-torn country moves forward. Experts of the Louvre Museum, Washington’s Smithsonian Institution as well as the World Monuments Fund, are helping revive the museum by putting together the monuments.

ISIS took over the northern city of Mosul almost 8 years ago. To assert dominance, they smashed valuable artifacts into pieces. The group of extremists also made an advertising stunt and filmed themselves breaking the pre-Islamic treasures and uploaded it online. For propaganda, they targetted the largest and heaviest monuments in the Mosul museum.

Over the past years, the antiquities have been further broken, robbed or sold in pieces on the black market. Fortunately, there are 20 people from the Louvre Museum helping to rehabilitate the artifacts, including seven French experts who will be guiding the restoration process.

Experts are fast on their feet, working on putting back the pieces and solving the puzzle. The next step would be to exhibit them in a manner that shows how valuable they truly are.

The director of the Louvre’s Department of Near Eastern Antiquities, Ariane Thomas said, “When we said that with time, money and know-how, we could revive even the most damaged of works, this proves it.”

The thrones of Mosel Museum

The team is working on reassembling the base of the destroyed throne of King Ashurnasirpal II. Additionally, they’re working on putting back the winged lion of the Assyrian empire, and the winged bull, an Assyrian symbol of force and domination. The base of the Assyrian king’s throne is in 850 pieces. The museum’s Official Choueib Firas Ibrahim said, “We have reassembled two-thirds of them.”

The scattered pieces date back to the first millennium BC. Put together, they tell historical stories. “Works that were completely destroyed have started to take form once again,” Thomas said.

By the end of this project, there will be an online exhibition to showcase the rehabilitated masterpieces.

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