Islamic fundamentalists in Syria are responsible for the destruction of many ancient monuments, including Byzantine mosaics and Greco-Roman statues. They do so because showing human beings in art is inconsistent with their confession. It is believed that destroying monuments in Syria is a greater disaster for cultural heritage than blowing up a giant statue of Buddha in Bamian (Afghanistan) in 2001. Then, also, religion was the motif.
In mid-January 2014, members of the Islamic State blew up a VI-century Byzantine mosaic near Raqqa on the Euphrates. The reliefs made in Shash Hamdan, the Roman cemetery in Aleppo were also destroyed, the two capitals in the colonnade on the main Roman street Decumanus in Apamea were damaged and the Roman mosaics were removed from the ground. As a result of the fights, statues from al-Qator and many, many more were also destroyed. What is worse, the area under the control of the Islamic State contains a large number of monuments, whose fate is not entirely clear. Palmira, an ancient city in central Syria (about 215 km northeast of Damascus), also served as a base for the ISIS.
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