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Who is responsible for destruction of Iraq's cultural heritage?

Iraqi leaders have not only failed to protect the nation's cultural heritage, but have also contributed to its destruction by demolishing historic homes and landmarks.
Remains of wall panels and colossal statues of winged bulls, destroyed by Islamic State militants are seen in the Assyrian city of Nimrud eastern bank of the Tigris River, south of Mosul, Iraq, November 16, 2016. REUTERS/Ari Jalal - RTX2TYP9
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BAGHDAD, Iraq — Safeguarding Endangered Cultural Heritage, a conference held in Abu Dhabi December 3-4, called for international support to protect the endangered cultural heritage of the Middle East, especially in Iraq and Syria. Conference participants approved establishing a $100 million fund and a safe haven network for use during conflicts. The problem in Iraq is one of conflict as well as neglect.

On Nov. 25, after the liberation of Nimrud — the Assyrian archaeological site south of Mosul — from the Islamic State (IS), UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova announced, “The damage inflicted to Nimrud is a major loss for Iraq and for the world.” She also asserted, “The protection and rehabilitation of Iraqi’s heritage, in Nimrud and beyond, is essential for stability and cohesion in the country and the entire region.”

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