In New York, representatives of Germany and Iraq today announced a joint initiative to draft a UN General Assembly resolution in response to the destruction and looting of cultural property by ISIS. Following the terrible destruction of cultural property by ISIS in Nimrud, Hatra and Mosul in Iraq, the UN General Assembly resolution is intended to condemn this disregard of ancient heritage and to encourage greater protection of Iraq’s cultural property.
Commenting on this, Minister of State Maria Böhmer made the following statement in Berlin on 21 April:
It is high time for the international community to join forces to save Iraq’s cultural property from the barbaric acts committed by the ISIS terrorist group. This is why we have launched an initiative together with Iraq to draft a UN General Assembly resolution, urging the entire international community to unanimously condemn these acts and proposing a range of specific protective measures. The resolution is intended to make clear that no country in the world accepts the religious motivation which ISIS claims justifies the destruction of cultural property.
The destruction of Iraq’s cultural property is a war crime and constitutes an attack on the cultural heritage of humanity as a whole. The international community must stand together to counter this attack. This includes taking action against the destruction and looting of archaeological sites, historic buildings and cultural property, which has been ongoing for months, and lending Iraq effective support to protect its cultural objects. Each and every one of us must be aware that buying and selling cultural property illegally exported from Iraq is not only a crime but also supports terrorists.