The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, January 21, 2018


Iraqi forces seize ancient site of Hatra from IS
Displaced Iraqi families evacuate from the UNESCO-listed ancient city of Hatra, southwest of the northern city of Mosul, on April 26, 2017, as pro-government Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary forces advance during an offensive to retake the area from Islamic State (IS) group fighters. Hatra is the latest important archaeological site to be recaptured from IS. Jihadists had embarked on a campaign of destruction against archaeological sites after they seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in a lightning 2014 offensive. The full extent of the harm to Hatra remains unclear. AHMAD AL-RUBAYE / AFP.

by Ahmad al-Rubaye


HATRA (AFP).- Iraqi forces seized the UNESCO-listed ancient site of Hatra from the Islamic State group Wednesday, the latest archaeological jewel to be wrested from the jihadists' grip.

Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary forces fighting IS around Iraq's second city Mosul said they had "liberated the ancient city of Hatra... after fierce clashes with the enemy".

The Hashed forces launched their offensive at dawn on Tuesday and swiftly retook villages in nearby desert areas and the Hatra archaeological site.

Nearby modern Hatra was not yet fully retaken but the Hashed said its forces had "broken into the town after Daesh (IS) defences collapsed".

It said in a statement that it killed 61 IS fighters in the two-day-old operation, including 19 suicide bombers, and evacuated around 2,500 civilians who fled their homes.

An AFP reporter with the forces said the advance was quick and supported by army helicopters. The Hashed al-Shaabi said they retook an area covering 800 square kilometres (300 square miles).

Lying 120 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of Mosul, the jihadists' last urban Iraqi stronghold, Hatra is one of a string of archaeological sites recaptured from IS in recent months.

Known as Al-Hadhr in Arabic, it was established in the 3rd or 2nd century BC and became a religious and trading centre under the Parthian empire.

Its imposing fortifications helped it withstand sieges by the forces of two Roman emperors.

Although Hatra finally succumbed to Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanid dynasty, it was well-preserved over the centuries that followed.

But after IS jihadists seized swathes of Iraq and Syria in a lightning 2014 offensive, they vandalised sculptures there as part of a campaign of destruction against archaeological sites they had captured.

The jihadists see such destruction as a religiously mandated elimination of idols -- but they have no qualms about selling smaller artefacts to fund their operations.

Strategic town
The full extent of the damage to Hatra remains unclear.

Besides the huge heritage value of ancient Hatra, the nearby city is of particular strategic significance because it commands access to broads linking the provinces of Nineveh, Salaheddin and Anbar.

IS has lost much of the territory it once controlled amid twin offensives in Syria and Iraq, including several ancient sites.

In November, less than a month into a vast operation to oust the jihadists from Mosul, Iraq said it had recaptured Nimrud, a jewel of the Assyrian empire founded in the 13th century BC.

Journalists who visited immediately afterwards found shattered statues, wrecked ancient palaces and bulldozed structures in one of the region's most important archaeological sites.

IS had smashed stone carvings and detonated explosives at the site.

Last month, Syrian regime forces recaptured the famed desert city of Palmyra from the jihadists, who had destroyed priceless objects there too.

Also in March, Iraqi security forces recaptured Mosul's museum, where IS militants infamously filmed themselves smashing priceless artefacts.

The five-minute video from 2015 shows militants at the museum in Mosul knocking statues off their plinths and smashing them to pieces.

In another scene, jihadists used a jackhammer to deface an imposing granite Assyrian winged bull at the Nergal Gate in Mosul.

The destruction at the museum and the archaeological sites drew widespread condemnation internationally and inside Iraq.

Iraqi pro-government forces backed by a US-led coalition have been fighting since October to oust IS from Mosul.

The Hashed al-Shaabi, an umbrella group for militias that mobilised to fight IS, have focused their efforts on a front southwest of Mosul, aiming to seize the town of Tal Afar as well as desert areas stretching to the border with Syria.

Iraqi forces advanced in west Mosul this week, closing in on the Old City as the jihadists executed civilians in a desperate bid to hold on to the last major Iraqi bastion of their crumbling "caliphate".


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

April 27, 2017

Turner Prize-winning artist Chris Ofili unveils new tapestry at the National Gallery

Extraordinary Roy Lichtenstein sculpture to be included in Phillips sale

Sotheby's unveils its inaugural Sale of Modern and Contemporary African Art

Oscar-winning 'Silence of the Lambs' director Jonathan Demme dies

Solo exhibitions at Sotheby's S/2 present works by Renate Bertlmann and Maria Lassnig

Throckmorton Fine Art opens exhibition of photographs by the 20th century photographer Fritz Henle

Works by Guy Pène du Bois highlight sale of Impressionist & Modern Art at Doyle

Record-breaking Ottoman textile leads £13 million week of Middle Eastern art auctions

JFK's 'only' diary sold for $718,750 at auction

The Whitechapel Gallery opens the first major public display of the ISelf Collection in the UK

The ICA/Boston opens major mid-career survey of Nari Ward

New Museum opens the first New York museum survey of the work of Italian artist Carol Rama

Crocker Art Museum awards inaugural $25,000 Knudsen Prize to Bay Area sculptor Cyrus Tilton

Spain's Guernica marks 80th anniversary of bombing

Global graphic design comes to Swann Galleries

On creativity

Iraqi forces seize ancient site of Hatra from IS

Art Brussels 2017: End of fair report

Museum Ludwig exhibits works by 2017 Wolfgang Hahn Prize winner Trisha Donnelly

Ry David Bradley's debut solo exhibition at PM/AM opens in London

Walter Hagen PGA Championship gold medal available in Heritage Auctions' Spring Sports Catalog Auction

Berlin/Los Angeles: Space for Music, now on view at the Getty

Cincinnati Art Museum presents More Sweetly Play the Dance by William Kentridge

Exhibition at rodolphe janssen presents works by Gert & Uwe Tobias

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- National Air and Space Museum releases "VR Hangar" app

2.- Inrap discovers a mikveh in the medieval Jewish quarter of Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux

3.- Wellcome Collection acquires 17th century portrait of internationally renowned and hirsute Barbara van Beck

4.- The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation names Ghislain d'Humieres to oversee its core operations

5.- LACMA exhibits for the first time two photographic series by Richard Prince

6.- Jade and gold burial suit, finest to survive ancient China, featured in Nelson-Atkins exhibition

7.- Peru recovers 79 pre-Hispanic textiles from the Museum of Gothenburg in Sweden

8.- Vincent van Gogh's 'Watermill at Kollen' on display at Het Noordbrabants Museum

9.- Saint Louis Art Museum will acquire 'Portrait of Charlotte Cram' by John Singer Sargent

10.- British Museum opens the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful