Sunday, April 12, 2015

Wounded lion of Ninivé

Dear Helene,

There was some very sad news here about the destructions in the Mosul Museum. The good news in the international press, that the Assyrian art destructed by IS were mostly plaster copies, was apparently not correct. De Volkskrant of April 10 published an interview with Hikmat Basheer al Aswad, archeologist and former director of the Museum of Mosul. He fled Iraq in 2011 after death threats to him and his family (they are Christian) and got asylum in the Netherlands. According to him, only about four of 40 Assyrian statues in the Mosul Museum were plasters, and only a few smaller statues were moved to Bagdad by Saddam Hussein. The rest were over 4000 kg. each and difficult to be transported. Basheer has directed the excavation of the statues. He thinks they are all destroyed and says he feels sad that he hasn't left them under the ground. 


Assyrian (Ninivé-Mosul 645-635 BC): Wounded lion of Ninivé, British Museum

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