Why preserving Iraq’s cultural heritage is crucial post-ISIS

The Citadel in Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan region in Iraq, received its UNESCO world heritage status in 2014.

That was the same year that the so-called Islamic State began its onslaught through Northern Iraq and seized control of Mosul city which lies just 80 kilometres from Erbil.

ISIS waged a campaign of “cultural cleansing, cultural eradication and cultural looting,” says Irina Bokova, the former head of UNESCO in Iraq. The destruction of religious sites and historic artefacts were an integral part of ISIS propaganda.

The terror group released online videos of ISIS militants destroying museum collections with sledgehammers and levelling Christian and Shia Muslim shrines in Iraq and Syria with

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