Replicas of Assyrian statues smashed by Daesh unveiled in Iraq’s Mosul

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Members of a Spanish flamenco music group perform during a ceremony for the unveiling of replicas of "lamassu", an Assyrian protective deity depicted with a human head, the body of a lion, and bird wings, at the University of Mosul in the northern Iraqi city on October 24, 2019. (AFP)
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This picture taken on October 24, 2019 shows two replicas of "lamassu", an Assyrian protective deity depicted with a human head, the body of a lion, and bird wings, on display on the day of their unveiling at the University of Mosul in the northern Iraqi city. (AFP)
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Men look at a replica of a "lamassu", an Assyrian protective deity depicted with a human head, the body of a lion, and bird wings, on the day of its unveiling at the University of Mosul in the northern Iraqi city on October 24, 2019. (AFP)
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A man poses for a picture with a replica of a "lamassu", an Assyrian protective deity depicted with a human head, the body of a lion, and bird wings, on the day of its unveiling at the University of Mosul in the northern Iraqi city on October 24, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 24 October 2019

Replicas of Assyrian statues smashed by Daesh unveiled in Iraq’s Mosul

  • Extremists destroyed the originals after they swept across northern Iraq in 2014
  • Iraqi troops recaptured Mosul in mid-2017, but the museum has remained shuttered and the lamassu in ruins

MOSUL: Two high-tech replicas of iconic Assyrian statues destroyed by the Daesh group in northern Iraq were unveiled on Thursday at the University of Mosul.
The real “lamassu” — massive statues of winged bulls with human faces — had adorned a royal throne room in the ancient city of Nimrud for centuries, and one was later exhibited in the Mosul Museum.
But extremists destroyed the originals after they swept across northern Iraq in 2014, blowing up Nimrud and filming themselves taking hammers to pre-Islamic artefacts they deemed heretical.
Iraqi troops recaptured Mosul in mid-2017, but the museum has remained shuttered and the lamassu in ruins.
Using 3D recordings of lamassu fragments, the Spanish Factum Foundation created copies, erected this week outside the student library at the University of Mosul.
“This gift is a message of hope that Mosul has returned to normal and its people must build their city,” Spanish Ambassador Juan Jose Escobar said at the statues’ unveiling.
Ahmad Qassem, a professor of history at the University of Mosul, said the lamassu’s hybrid figure is highly symbolic.
“The head symbolizes wisdom, the wings speed, and the body — a mix of a bull and a lion — represent strength,” he told AFP.
And Factum founder Adam Lowe told AFP the replicas now had their own meaning.
“We want them to be here as a symbol, a demonstration of what’s possible with technology when people work together to share cultural heritage, share understanding, and share our historical culture that links us all together,” he said.
“Now they’re sitting in front of the entrance to the student building and I hope they’ll guard everyone for many years to come,” said Lowe.
University student Ilaf Muhannad said she was elated to see her university house them.
“I’m so happy today to see the lamassu statues placed here, because it represents the civilization and heritage of Mosul. We demand the Iraqi government work on returning everything stolen from Mosul,” she said.


US imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions on two people, six companies

Updated 23 January 2020

US imposes fresh Iran-related sanctions on two people, six companies

WASHINGTON: The United States on Thursday imposed Iran-related sanctions on two individuals and six companies, including four firms tied to the National Iranian Oil Company.
Tensions between Iran and the United States have ratcheted up since 2018, most recently over an US attack that killed a top Iranian general.
The latest sanctions move was announced on the US Treasury Department's website.