UNESCO has named Iraqi marshlands as a world heritage site, a bright spot for a country that has suffered series of full blown attacks from jihadists that have repeatedly sought to wipe out history.
According to the agency, the area is made up of seven sites: three archaeological sites and four wetland marsh areas in southern Iraq.
“The archaeological cities of Uruk and Ur and the Tell Eridu archaeological site form part of the remains of the Sumerian cities and settlements that developed in southern Mesopotamia between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE,” Unesco said.
Iraq has been seeking world heritage status for the marshes since 2003, and its government hailed the move.
Prime minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated the Iraqi people on Unesco’s decision, and thanked “all those who contributed to this success.”
Abadi also said that culture in the country will continue “despite the destruction and demolition of Iraqi heritage and antiquities by barbaric terrorist gangs.”
He was referring to Islamic State group’s destruction of artefacts at the Mosul museum and the ancient cities of Nimrud and Hatra, the latter of which is a world heritage site.
Isis has sought to couch the destruction in religious terms, saying it was targeting idols, but that has not stopped it from selling artefacts to fund its operations.
Source: The Guardian UK