......except for two of them.The real ones are safe in Baghdad.
The ancient statues that Islamic State militants smashed in Mosul on camera last month have been proved to be exact replicas of precious artifacts of Iraqi heritage. The real masterpieces of antiquity are said to be in Baghdad.
“They were copies. The originals are all here,” Baghdad’s museum director told Germany’s Deutsche Welle.
The head of the antiquity department in Iraq’s cultural heritage authority, Fawzye al-Mahdi, also told the German broadcaster that “none” of the artifacts “were originals.”
This, experts say, explains why in a video that shows the destruction statues crumble so easily.
“The reason they crumble so easily is that they're made of plaster. You can see iron bars inside," Mark Altaweel of the Institute of Archaeology at University College, London said to Channel 4.
However, Mosul’s exiled governor Atheel Nuafi, said that, while many of destroyed items were not originals, but there were real ones demolished afterward.
“There were two items that were real and which the militants destroyed,” he told Iraq television. “One is a winged bull and the other was the God of Rozhan.” He also said that before destroying the museum, ISIS militants could have stolen several items.
A video appeared on Youtube in February, showing several men crashing museum statues and winged bulls monuments securing gates of ancient Nineveh, located not far away from Mosul.
Mosul Museum has the second biggest collection of ancient relics in Iraq. It owned dozens of thousands of items from Nineveh and other ancient centers of Northern Mesopotamia. In 2003, at the height of operation against Saddam Hussein, the museum was ransacked by looters, but its workers managed to save most valuable masterpieces and moved them to Baghdad before the city assault. Meanwhile, some important items were still kept there including an ancient statues and ceramics collection.