Sunday, January 22, 2017

Destruction of cultural heritage by ISIL

Polmyra Amphitheater
Wikipedia: Deliberate destruction and theft of cultural heritage has been conducted by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant since 2014 in Iraq, Syria, and to a lesser extent in Libya. The destruction targets various places of worship under ISIL control and ancient historical artifacts. In Iraq, between the fall of Mosul in June 2014 and February 2015, ISIL has plundered and destroyed at least 28 historical religious buildings. The valuable items from some buildings were looted in order to smuggle and sell them to finance ISIL activities.

ISIL uses a unit called the Kata'ib Taswiyya (settlement battalions), tasked with selecting targets for demolition. UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova branded the ISIL activities in this respect as "a form of cultural cleansing" and launched the Unite4Heritage campaign to protect heritage sites threatened by extremists.

Although Libya, Syria and Iraq ratified the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict in 1957, 1958 and 1967 respectively, it has not been effectively enforced. Read more on Wikipedia 
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- Palmyra
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