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UNESCO Director-General Condemns Destruction at Nimrud

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has condemned the demolition of historic World Heritage ruins in the Iraqi city of Nimrud by terrorists as a war crime. Damage to the site was first reported in March, but a recently published video shows the full scale of destruction, as the city is completely destroyed.


The video reveals the total annihilation of the north-west part of the Palace of Ashurnasirpal II, along with stone sculptures from the neo-Assyrian era. Militants can be seen using power tools and bulldozers to disfigure and destroy ancient monuments.

The ruins of the city founded 879 B.C were considered as one of the most important archaeological sites in Iraq.

Director-General Bokova expressed her solidarity with the people and government of Iraq and recalled UNESCO’s action to protect World Heritage: “The deliberate destruction of heritage is a war crime,” Ms Bokova said. “We will do everything possible to fight against this and document it, to ensure that those responsible are identified and brought to justice.”

UNESCO cooperates with the Government of Iraq, neighbouring states and other partners to safeguard this millennial heritage.

To support all those – in Iraq and elsewhere – who are taking action to promote the importance of cultural and natural heritage , join the #Unite4Heritage campaign and help to protect heritage where it is threatened by violence and destruction.

Further information


Website of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre