Iran has offered to safeguard potentially at-risk Iraqi artifacts after a video released by the Islamic State group showed its militants using sledgehammers to smash relics in Iraq's northern city of Mosul.
- Say Farewell to Iraq's Minorities
- Iraqi Army Launches Offensive Against ISIS
- In Iraq, it's Shi’ite militias galore
Mohammad Hassan Talebian, a senior official at Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization, says Iran has written to Irina Bokova, the head of the UN cultural agency, and Iraqi officials to say that Iran is ready to host Iraqi ancient artifacts as long as they are at risk.
Talebian was quoted Saturday by the semiofficial ISNA news agency as saying Iran feels obligated to protect the historical relics of Iraq, a neighbor with which it shares a common history. He denounced Islamic State's destruction of the ancient statues.
The video, released on Thursday, showed men smashing up artifacts dating back to the 7th century BC Assyrian era, toppling statues from plinths, smashing them with a sledgehammer and breaking up a carving of a winged bull with a drill.