ISIS Sells Iraq Treasure on Black Market

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While speaking at a conference in Paris, French ambassador to UNESCO Philippe Lalliot warned that Iraq’s artifacts are in “great danger” because ISIS is selling the ancient pieces on the black market. “When tens of thousands of people are dying, should we be worried about cultural cleansing? Yes, because heritage unites and culture provides dialogue that fanatical groups want to destroy,” Lalliot said. According to the head of the Baghdad Museum, mafia-like gangs are working in coordination with ISIS. The most heavily looted site has been the 9th-century B.C. grand palace at Kalhu of the Assyrian King Ashurnasirpal II. Tablets from there have been found in European cities, often cut up.