Bolsjevikene renset historien, jihadistene ødelegger alt som skriver seg fra før Muhammed. De mener det bokstavelig. I Egypt er det blitt truet/nevnt som en mulighet. Nå gjør IS alvor av det.
“A tragedy and catastrophic loss for Iraqi history and archaeology beyond comprehension,” Amr al-Azm, the Syrian anthropologist and historian, called the destruction on his Facebook page.“These are some of the most wonderful examples of Assyrian art, and they’re part of the great history of Iraq, and of Mesopotamia,” he said in an interview. “The whole world has lost this.”
Det er ment som et budskap. Ødeleggelsene på museet i Mosul er filmet og lagt ut på nett. Akkurat som med halshogginger og brenninger, ønsker IS at verden skal se. De gjør et PR-nummer av de aller mest ekstreme handlingene.
Få ting gjør inntrykk som ødeleggelser av verdensarven.
Denne bevingede løve står ved inngangen til det gamle Ninineve. Der har de stått i 2.700 år og sett uttallige invasjoner. Ingen har drømt om å ødelegge dem, før IS. Kanskje det gir en idé om hvor radikal IS er og hvor langt de er villig til å gå. Det de gjør med verdensarven er de også villig til å gjøre med mennesker.
Eleanor Robson, a professor of ancient Near Eastern history with the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, said the destruction was filmed at two sites: inside the Mosul Museum — which was looted in 2003, after the American-led invasion of Iraq — and at the Nergal Gate, an entryway to the capital of the Assyrian Empire, Nineveh, guarded by a pair of colossal human-headed, winged bulls.
The militants’ video lingered on a description of the gate, which explained that the entrance was dedicated to Nergal, the Sumerian god of plague and the underworld in ancient Mesopotamia. The association of the winged bulls with this pre-Islamic god was offered by the spokesman for the fundamentalist militants as a justification for their destruction.
Det var spekulasjoner om noen av statuene på museet i Mosul er kopier, fordi man kan se at de er stivet av med jernstenger. Men dette er gjort av kuratorer for å få dem til å henge sammen, sier Robson.
Ms. Robson said in a BBC radio interview that the video evidence showed that “artifacts from two different ancient cities as well as modern replicas” were destroyed at the museum. “What we’ve got at the beginning of the video are standing statues of people who lived in the desert city Hatra in Iraq in the second century B.C. to the third century A.D.,” she said.
As those statues are smashed in the video, Ms. Robson noted, “you can see in them iron rods which archaeologists have used to piece them together from ancient fragments.”
The winged bulls, she added, date to the early seventh century B.C., “so they have stood there for nearly 3,000 years welcoming people into the city, and ISIS have now taken sledgehammers to them.”
Samuel Andrew Hardy, a specialist in the trade in illicit antiquities who teaches at the American University of Rome, explained on his blog that one of the artifacts smashed “was a statue of the seventh-century-B.C.E. Assyrian king Sargon.”
Sargon er navn man husker fra historiebøkene. Det var brutale herskere, men de utslettet ikke historien. Det er dette som gjør IS så skremmende.
In the video, put out by the Islamic State’s media office for Nineveh Province — named for an ancient Assyrian city — a man explains, “The monuments that you can see behind me are but statues and idols of people from previous centuries, which they used to worship instead of God.”
A message flashing on the screen read: “Those statues and idols weren’t there at the time of the Prophet nor his companions. They have been excavated by Satanists.”
The men, some bearded and in traditional Islamic dress, others clean-shaven in jeans and T-shirts, were filmed toppling and destroying artifacts. One is using a power tool to deface a winged lion much like a pair on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.