Anne Barnard in the NEW YORK TIMES has the best report online tonight regarding what ISIS has just to the ancient site of NIMRUD in Northern Iraq..
It was the latest in a series of attacks on ancient structures and artifacts in Syria and Iraq that the group has destroyed in the name of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law. Last week, Islamic State militants videotaped themselves destroying statues and artifacts in the Mosul Museum and at the Nergal Gate entryway to ancient Nineveh. The militants captured the city during its offensive blitz through much of Iraq last June. “The terrorist gangs of ISIS are continuing to defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity after they committed a new crime that belongs to its idiotic series,” the ministry said in a statement on its Facebook page, referring to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL or Daesh.
Nimrud is the sprawling site of a city founded by the Assyrian King Shalamansar I, who died in 1245 B.C. Among the most impressive objects at Nimrud are the colossal statues known as “lamassu,” mythological creatures that depict either lions or winged bulls with bearded human heads. Pairs of the 17-ton statues are at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum.
More on the breaking news today from NBC NEWS dispatches:
A statement from Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities didn’t elaborate on the extent of the damage, saying only that the group continues to “defy the will of the world and the feelings of humanity” with this latest act.
Nimrud was the site of what has been called one of the greatest archaeological sites ever discovered in history..