The extremists from the Islamic State (IS) used sledge hammers and drills and other power tools to smash ancient statues and sculptures.
The rampage has not been seen since the destruction of the Library of Alexandria during the Muslim conquest of Egypt in 642 AD, a sign that extremists intend to plunge the region into another Dark Age.
“We strongly condemn this act of catastrophic destruction to one of the most important museums in the Middle East,” said Met Director Thomas P. Campbell, in a statement released today.
Campbell said he was “speaking with great sadness,” on behalf of the Met, one of the nation’s premiere museums. It houses a large collection of ancient and Islamic art from Mesopotamia, as the region was know in antiquity.
“The Mosul Museum’s collection covers the entire range of civilization in the region, with outstanding sculptures from royal cities such as Nimrud, Nineveh, and Hatra in northern Iraq,” Campbell said.
“This mindless attack on great art, on history, and on human understanding constitutes a tragic assault not only on the Mosul Museum, but on our universal commitment to use art to unite people and promote human understanding,” he added.
“Such wanton brutality must stop, before all vestiges of the ancient world are obliterated,” he said.
The attack on the Nineveh Museum was captured on video and posted on Twitter under the IS banner.
Bearded men were filmed pushing over 3,000-year-old statues and smashing them. One statue pictured in the clip was an ancient Assyrian winged bull that dates back to around 900 B.C.
One of the vandals said the Koran justified the destruction because the antiquities promoted “idolatry.”
The act comes just days after extremists blew up the Mosul Public Library and destroyed more than 10,000 books and 700 rare manuscripts.
The United States has announced that it plans to take back the city this spring. The U.S. coalition is assembling a 25,000 man assault force of Iraqis and Peshmerga fighters to invade under the direction of U.S. Special Forces.
Extremists are apparently out to reek as much destruction as possible before they face an assault.