Daesh looting ancient sites on industrial scale: UNESCO

Published July 2nd, 2015 - 04:55 GMT

Daesh militants are looting ancient sites in Iraq and Syria on an industrial scale and selling the artifacts to middlemen in a bid to raise funds, Reuters reported on Thursday, citing Irina Bokova, the head of the UN cultural agency UNESCO.

Of the some 10,000 official world-renowned sites in Iraq, about 2,000 were under Daesh control. These sites have been heavily looted and it remains unclear what is happening in "thousands more" areas, Bokova told a meeting of experts in London.

She added that the looting of some sites in Syria was so extensive they no longer had any value for historians and archaeologists.

Bokova said that the artifacts looted from these ancient sites were ending up in the hands of “certain dealers,” and from there into private collections or market end buyers, Reuters reported

"The deliberate destruction, what we are seeing nowadays in Iraq and Syria, has reached unprecedented levels in contemporary history," she said.

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