Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office and Chair of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Maria Böhmer issued the following statement in Berlin on 27 February on the destruction of Iraqi artefacts by the terrorist group ISIS:
I am extremely concerned by the news that Iraqi antiquities have been destroyed by the terrorist group ISIS. Some of mankind’s cultural treasures are being irretrievably lost. With hammers and drills the group is inflicting deep wounds on the history, traditions and souls of the people in northern Iraq as well as the entire human race.
We must do all we can to ensure that this barbaric “cultural cleansing” is stopped and punished immediately.
ISIS is abducting and killing defenceless civilians, most recently over 200 Assyrian Christians – including women and children – and destroying religious and cultural sites. By doing so, the terrorist group is destroying the lives and cultural identities of the local people.
These ruthless attacks on mankind’s cultural property once again show the inhumane face of ISIS.