UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova Demands Emergency UN Security Council Meeting

World | February 27, 2015, Friday // 10:43
Bulgaria: UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova Demands Emergency UN Security Council Meeting Photo: EPA/BGNES

Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova demanded Thursday that an emergency meeting of the Security Council of the organization is held immediately.

"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," UNESCO chief Irina Bokova said in a statement.

The reason behind the demand is the recent acts of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) of destroying cultural monuments in a local museum.

In a video distributed by the organization, fighters are destroying artefacts with sledgehammers in Iraq's northern city of Mosul, Al Jazeera reported.

The video clearly depicts several bearded men smashing large statues, said to date back to the Assyrian culture in 9th century BC. The reasoning they provided is that they are attempting to fight the spread of heresies.

"Oh Muslims, these artefacts that are behind me were idols and gods worshiped by people who lived centuries ago instead of Allah," one of the men stated in the recording.

The Jihadists took control over the historic areas last summer, but have refrained from destroying the heritage until now.

In response, a number of archaeologists and historians have deemed the damage done to be catastrophic. Apart from one plastic copy shot in the video, all other artefacts were original statues from the ancient cities of Nineveh, Nimrud, and Hatra.

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Tags: UNESCO, UN, Islamic state, terrorism, culture, artefacts, historic, heritage, Iraq, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Nineveh, Nimrud, Hatra, damage, Destruction, demolition
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