Effigy of Zenobia, ancient queen, among statues destroyed by IS

Islamic State thugs have destroyed a rare sculpture of Zenobia, the third-century queen of the Palmyrene Empire in Syria, who led a famous revolt against the Roman Empire, the International Business Times reports.

According to the terror group, the statues were smuggled privately from Palmyra to Homs, north of Damascus. The smuggler was “disciplined” according to Islamic Law, and the artifacts were taken to the city of Manbij, in Aleppo governorate, where they were destroyed.

Images released by the Islamic State of statues slated for defacement, July 2, 2015. (screen capture)
Images released by the Islamic State of statues slated for defacement, July 2, 2015. (screen capture)

“With thanks to Allah, Isis groups spread throughout the province have managed to stop a man who had in his possession a group of smuggled statues from Tadmur [Palmyra in Arabic] in the Homs province,” a statement posted online by the group says.

“He was then taken to the Islamic court in the town of Manbaj where it was ruled that the smuggler was disciplined to the legal limits according to Islamic law, and the statues were destroyed, with thanks to God before and after,” it continues.

A Syrian antiquities director, Maamoun Abdulkarim, tells the paper that IS will continue destroying historical monuments under its control, though he would need to examine the destroyed sculptures in person to determine their authenticity.

“I’m sure that if Palmyra stays under IS we’ll see a lot more of those pictures,” Abdulkarim says.

“We know they will destroy all the statues in their hands, it’s part of their ideology. There are hundreds of similar statues in Damascus, after they have been evacuated from Palmyra’s national museum. To prove the authenticity we would need to examine them in person,” he says.

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