The originals don’t have iron bars

One bit of slightly less bad news – the Telegraph reports that most of the artifacts Daesh smashed up in Mosul were replicas.

[T]he head of the country’s national antiquities department confirmed they were plaster copies of priceless originals.

“None of the artefacts destroyed in the video is an original,” Fawzye al-Mahdi told the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Curators at the Baghdad Museum studied the video and found that many of the artefacts that appeared to have been destroyed were in fact safe inside their own museum.

They also found that others are held in museums around the world.

That doesn’t do Nimrud and Hatra any good, but it’s still something.

The findings confirmed suspicions voiced by archaeologists when the video was first released.

“You can see iron bars inside [the statues],” Mark Altaweel of the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London, told Channel 4 News.

“The originals don’t have iron bars.”

Atheel Nuafi, the governor of Mosul who had to flee the city when Isil seized control of it last year, confirmed that most of the destroyed objects were copies, though he said two were originals.

“There were two items that were real and which the militants destroyed,” he told Iraqi television. “One is a winged bull and the other was the God of Rozhan.”

Any Buddhas with earphones?


  1. RJW says

    Yes, good news, however we don’t know how much damage Daesh vandalism has done to any unexcavated areas of Nimrud and Hatra.
    I don’t suppose that those morons realised the difference between genuine artefacts and reproductions but they probably don’t care because they’re all ‘idols’. The campaign to return antiquities to their ‘rightful owners’ is hopefully, ‘on hold’ for the immediate future. Plain old-fashioned corruption is the main problem. There was a report recently about the director of a museum in Turkey who, it was discovered, was systematically stealing antiquities, replacing them with fakes and selling them on the black market. One of the stolen items had been returned by a Western museum.

    Oy vey!

  2. lorn says

    I kind of figured that, slender metal rods did look right, but I’m no art or antiquities expert and I figured there was some chance that if ISIS thought they got the real ones they would stop looking so I thought it best to keep my mouth shut.

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