We all watched in horror as ISIS smashed ancient statues and relics with sledgehammers, but we now learn that those ancient statues were actually exact replicas of the original artifacts. The real antiquities are said to be safe in Baghdad.
The director of Baghdad’s museum told Germany’s Deutsche Welle. “They were copies. The originals are all here”
Channel 4 news London also reported that According to archaeologists, most if not all the statues in the Mosul museum are replicas not originals.
According to Eleanor Robson, chair of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, the majority of original statues have been taken to the Baghdad Museum for safe-keeping.
RT reports: The head of the antiquity department in Iraq’s cultural heritage authority, Fawzye al-Mahdi, also told the German broadcaster that “none” of the artifacts “were originals.”
This, experts say, explains why in a video that shows the destruction statues crumble so easily.
“The reason they crumble so easily is that they’re made of plaster. You can see iron bars inside,” Mark Altaweel of the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London said to Channel 4.
However, Mosul’s exiled governor Atheel Nuafi, said that, while many of destroyed items were not originals, but there were real ones demolished afterward.
“There were two items that were real and which the militants destroyed,” he told Iraq television. “One is a winged bull and the other was the God of Rozhan.” He also said that before destroying the museum, ISIS militants could have stolen several items.