Baghdad museum director Fawzye al-Mahdi claims the “invaluable artifacts” at a Mosul museum that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) destroyed in a video are in fact replicas.
“None of the artifacts are originals,” he stated. “They were copies. The originals are all here.”
After the video was released, experts around the world noticed that some of the artifacts were fake. They could tell the statues were made of plaster.
“You can see iron bars inside,” explained Mark Altawheel from the Institute of Archaeology at University College in London. “The originals don’t have iron bars.”
However, Mosul’s exiled governor Atheel Nuafi confirmed there were some originals within the museum.
“There were two items that were real and which the militants destroyed,” he said. “One is a winged bull and the other was the God of Rozhan.”
The winged bull might be one that “stood at the gates of Nineveh in the 7th century.”
“I think the Winged Bull is very important locally, because it’s one of the few objects that hasn’t left the country or gone to Baghdad,” described Eleanor Robson, the chair of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.
Nuafi also believes the terrorist group ransacked the museum and stole some of the valuables. The Islamic State destroys museums, shrines, and tombs because to them they are idolatry. But they are not stupid and sell valuables to antique collectors. This practice alone turned the jihadists into billionaires.