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Daesh Destroys Ancient Iraqi Al Nuri Mosque

June 23, 2017

Destruction Part of Ongoing Campaign of Cultural Cleansing and Racketeering


WASHINGTON, DC, June 23, 2017—The Antiquities Coalition strongly condemns the latest attack by Daesh (ISIS) against the people of Iraq and their cultural heritage. On June 21, Daesh intentionally destroyed one of the country’s most iconic monuments, the 12th century Al Nuri Grand Mosque and its ancient leaning minaret, as Iraqi forces closed in during the ongoing Battle of Mosul. This targeted demolition is particularly poignant, as it took place in the holy month of Ramadan, and on one of the holiest dates in the Islamic calendar.

The destruction of the Al Nuri Grand Mosque marks a tragic continuation of Daesh’s campaign of terror across the Middle East and North Africa. The violent extremist organization has razed countless archaeological, historic, and sacred sites—including the Tomb of Jonah and Sunni mosque of the Prophet Younus (also in Mosul), entire temples at the ancient ruins of Nimrud in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria, and countless Shiite and Sufi places of worship throughout the region. The Antiquities Coalition has been closely monitoring this cultural cleansing through our #CultureUnderThreat Maps, which track deliberate destruction throughout the Arab League nations.

We stand with the people of Iraq against this brutal assault on our shared cultural heritage and continue to call on the international community to prosecute these atrocity crimes through the International Criminal Court.


About the Antiquities Coalition 

The Antiquities Coalition unites a diverse group of experts in the fight against cultural racketeering: the illicit trade in antiquities by organized criminals and terrorist organizations. This plunder for profit funds crime and conflict around the world—erasing our past and threatening our future. The Coalition’s innovative and practical solutions tackle crimes against heritage head on, empowering communities and countries in crisis. Learn more at


Laurie Kusch, Director of External Relations
202.798.5245 (T)