Oh crap, another one. The worst one yet, by some accounts. AFP via the Guardian:
Islamic State jihadis have destroyed a 2,000-year-old statue of a lion outside the museum in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s antiquities director has said.
Maamoun Abdelkarim said the statue, known as the Lion of al-Lat, was an irreplaceable piece. “IS members on Saturday destroyed the Lion of al-Lat, which is a unique piece that is three metres [10ft] tall and weighs 15 tonnes,” Abdelkarim told AFP. “It’s the most serious crime they have committed against Palmyra’s heritage.”
The limestone statue was discovered in 1977 by a Polish archaeological mission at the temple of al-Lat, a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess, and dated back to the 1st century BC.
Abdelkarim said the statue had been covered with a metal plate and sandbags to protect it from fighting, “but we never imagined that IS would come to the town to destroy it.”
That. It’s gone now. It’s rubble. It was there, a testimony to a human genius for art and sublimity, and now it’s just lumps of stone.