Investigative report on destruction of Iraqi archeological sites

Funded: Network of Iraqi Reporters for Investigative Journalism (NIRIJ)

NIRIJ is the first network of investigative journalism in Iraq, founded in 2011 to provide financial, editorial and advisory support for Iraqi journalists.


NAWA-IF supported production of an investigative report, which was published on the NIRIJ website and picked up by Al Aalam Al Jadeed. The report delves into how the destruction of archeological sites by ISIS, for alleged religious purposes, concealed large-scale thefts of antiquities and their sale through smuggling networks. During the period of ISIS rule, which extended for more than three years, hundreds of archeological sites were exhumed and their contents were looted, in addition to the theft of about 1,000 pieces from the Mosul Civilization Museum, and the destruction of items which could not be moved. Four years after the end of ISIS control over Mosul, only 100 artifacts have been recovered, and only  a few archeological monuments are being restored. Today, the violations against the antiquities of Nineveh continue with the knowledge of the security and civil state agencies alike.