Rebels blow up top of ancient spiral minaret in Iraq
SAMARRA, Iraq (AFP) - Iraqi rebels blew up the top of a towering centuries-old spiral minaret in the Iraqi city of Samarra, damaging one of the country's prized architectural treasures. Police said the top tier of the 52-metre Malwiya mosque tower was damaged in the attack, and an AFP reporter said the explosion left debris on the tower's winding ramps and a jagged hole on the top.
US troops had been stationed until two weeks ago in the 9th century yellow sandstone minaret in Samarra, an ancient city on the banks of the Tigris river north of Baghdad. US and Iraqi troops had draped an Iraqi flag from the minaret after retaking Samarra from rebels last October, and locals accused US forces of using it as a sniper position.
"I feel tremendous sadness. This is a disaster for the world. It is one of the most well known monuments in the world and its partial destruction is an assault on Islamic art and the world of art," said Alastair Northedge, an Islamic art professor at the Sorbonne in Paris, who is a specialist on Samarra. The minarat was built by Abbasid ruler or Caliph Al-Mutawakkli after the dynasty made Samarra the seat of the Islamic world in the 8th century AD.
The Malwiya, completed in 850 AD by the Islamic Abbasid dynasty, is one of just three spiral minarets in the world, including the Abu Duluf mosque, also in Samarra, and the Bin Toulon mosque in Cairo. Samarra, 125 kilometres north of Baghdad, was controlled by violent tribal clans, criminals, Saddam Hussein loyalists and Islamists from last June until October. US forces rarely ventured inside the city during that period and it remains rife with insurgent violence today.
Iraq proposed that UNESCO make the minaret a world heritage site in 2000. Many of Iraq's archeology sites have been plundered by thieves or damaged by US-led military operations since the US invasion two years ago.
Просто от нефиг делать снесли они макушку мечети, ага :((
Фантастической красоты конструкция, конечно - "What matters most about the Samarra minaret is not its formal design, but its startling originality. Strikingly bold and simple in design, functional, elemental, finely proportioned, comfortable to the eye. Here we have in the ninth century many qualities which bridge the centuries. The Malwiya is truly a great and rather lonely masterpiece." - famed British archeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler.