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destroyed artifact in the Mosul Museum on March 8 Photo: IC
A stone relief of Nergal Adidas
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display at the Mosul Museum Photo: IC
It was once home to priceless archaeological treasures, but these days you
get into the Mosul Museum in Iraq's second city via a gaping hole in the
In the darkness lies a pile of rubble - all that remains of two ancient
Assyrian statues of winged bulls, smashed to pieces by Islamic State group
Iraqi forces announced that they retook the building from IS on March 6 as
they pushed into west Mosul as part of a vast offensive to oust the jihadists
from the northern city.
Taking the museum was a symbolic victory.
In a notorious video issued in February 2015, the jihadists were seen
attacking items at the museum with sledgehammers and pneumatic drills Adidas
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Today, the museum is in ruins - nothing escaped the attackers.
In a darkened hall, a heap of stones marks the spot where tourists once
admired two imposing "lamassu" statues, Assyrian winged bulls with human faces.
The two-meter-tall monuments weighed more than four tons, according to Iraqi
archaeologist Layla Salih.
In the rubble Adidas
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carved legs and wings can be seen. Other pieces of smashed stone bear
inscriptions in the cuneiform alphabet.
Amid the ruins, a hole leads to the basement, where twisted iron bars are
visible in the foundations.
From time to time, an explosion rocks the building, a plain structure of