IS militants have destroyed an ancient statue of a lion outside the museum in the Syrian city of Palmyra, the country’s antiquities director Maamoun Abdelkarim said.
“IS members on Saturday destroyed the Lion of al-Lat, which is a unique piece that is three metres tall and weighs 15 tonnes. It’s the most serious crime they have committed against Palmyra’s heritage," Interfax cited him as saying.
Abdelkarim said the statue had been covered with a metal plate and sandbags to protect it from fighting, “but we never imagined that IS would come to the town to destroy it.”
The limestone statue was discovered in 1977 by a Polish archaeological mission at the temple of al-Lat, a pre-Islamic Arabian goddess.