Picture caption: panel relief showing court scene with Ashurnasirpal II in Nimrud, northern Iraq, 865BC-860BC   © The Trustees of the British Museum

Icom highlights threat to cultural objects in Iraq

Gary Noakes, 04.06.2015
List shows items that are vulnerable to threat or looting
The International Council of Museums (Icom) has updated its list of endangered cultural objects in Iraq.

The move to update the Emergency Red List for Iraq follows the recent destruction of ancient sites and artefacts in Iraq and Syria by IS militants.

In March explosives were used to obliterate the ancient city of Nimrud near the northern Iraqi city of Mosul and the most recent reports focus on the threat facing the Roman site of Palmyra in Syria. 

The list highlights the types of objects in demand by the art market and that are vulnerable to threat or looting.

”Individuals and institutions liable to acquire objects originating from Syria or Iraq are requested to demonstrate extreme prudence as regards the provenance and legal documentation of said objects", a statement from Icom said. 

The publication comes after the release of the 2013 Emergency Red list for Syria intended to prevent looted objects from being trafficked. Icom's very first Emergency Red List on Iraq was published in 2003.
Icom's latest work, supported by the US Department of State, also contains illustrations of objects seized by the Iraqi authorities and those that have been returned to the country. These include tools, weapons, statues and bas-reliefs.