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The Tragic Destruction of Nimrud’s Ancient Art

Nadia Cavner

Named a top financial advisor by Barron’s magazine for multiple consecutive years, Nadia Cavner built a reputation as a leader in her field. Formerly the head of Nadia Cavner Group Investment Services, she is also a philanthropist whose impact extends beyond her Springfield, Missouri, community.

Among the causes she supports are the human rights of Assyrian Christian refugees from today’s Mideast conflicts. In addition, she promotes Assyrian Christian culture through involvement with the Assyrian Arts Institute.

Much of the ancient art of the Assyrian region has been destroyed or threatened by the actions of the militant group ISIS. In 2016, following the Iraqi army’s entry into the area around the city of Nimrud, the scope of the devastation delivered to the local community and its art treasures became clear.
With a history spanning back more than 3,000 years, Nimrud has served as an exemplar of the richness of the ancient Assyrian culture. Photographs from 2016 depicted ISIS members’ shocking obliteration of stone monuments such as winged bulls and lions, as well as the destruction of the stepped pyramidal structures known as ziggurats, all emblematic of the region and its culture.
The United Nations designated ISIS’ actions against these historical treasures a war crime. Yet art lovers, including a 17-year-old Assyrian Christian refugee living in Kurdish territory, have responded to the damage. The teen has begun sculpting replicas of some of the statues as a tribute to his heritage.

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