“It’s tragic to see this destruction,” William Webber, from the UK-based Art Loss Register, told CNN. “Each time you see this you think it can’t happen again, but it does. Now other Greco-Roman treasures are at risk around Mosul in Iraq, as well as other artifacts in Palmyra and Raqqa in Syria.”
The video shows men taking sledgehammers to statues, and hammers and drills to the treasures. Qais Hussain Rashid, director general of Iraqi museums at the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism, said Friday on Iraqiya TV he believed most of the artifacts shown in the ISIS video were real — including a famed, millennia-old winged bull that’s seen being defaced with a drill.
Other experts agreed that the items destroyed appeared to be genuine. “On repeated viewing of that very grainy video, we now suspect that there (were) far more originals in the museum than I first thought,” said Eleanor Robson, chairwoman of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.
“Whilst there was indeed a program to relocate antiquities to safekeeping in Baghdad, it looks now as though it didn’t reach that particular museum.”