Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

video Top News

Iraq's heritage needs protection from Islamic State - UNESCO

Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 01:08

UNESCO's Director General warns that Islamic State militants are destroying Iraq's ancient treasures after seizing large swathes of the country's territory. Vanessa Johnston reports.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

UNESCO's Director General, Irina Bokova, arrives at the Iraqi Museum in Baghdad with a strong warning. Iraq's cultural heritage is being destroyed by Islamic State militants -- and is in urgent need of protection. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DIRECTOR GENERAL OF UNESCO, IRINA BOKOVA, SAYING: "We don't have time to lose because extremists are trying to erase the identity, because they know that if there is no identity, there is no memory, there is no history. And we think this is appalling, and this is not acceptable." Earlier this year IS captured large swathes of Iraq and Syria bringing thousands of archaeological sites under its control. Now, ancient artifacts are appearing on the black market, as IS uses intermediaries to sell off priceless treasures. Iraqi and Western officials say it's one of the ways IS funds their activities. They've also destroyed tombs, mosques and churches... ...as well as burned precious manuscripts and archives.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Iraq's heritage needs protection from Islamic State - UNESCO

Sunday, November 02, 2014 - 01:08