Lion of Babylon joins List of Crumbling Antiquities

Artist Shabib Midhaty told Al-Monitor, “It is necessary to preserve this statue given its artistic and historical value. The [inappropriate] repairs of the damages lessen the statue’s historical value.”

Midhaty said, “I visit the statue from time to time. I have noticed signs of weakness and erosion amid a lack of intervention by specialists to repair the damage. I have been watching the situation of the statue and I noticed that it has been neglected. Mechanisms must be developed to protect the statue. It must be placed inside a glass display case or other measures must be taken by archaeologists.”

He added, “There are numerous archaeological monuments in the world located in open areas, but they are subject to periodic inspections and receive due care. The Lion of Babylon is not receiving such care and interest.”

Archaeologist Hamid Hassan told Al-Monitor, “It is a national symbol that shows how great and strong Babylon is. It is a symbol of the history of Iraq.” He warned, “Salt poses an important threat to the statue as it has accumulated and reaches several centimeters on its platform, in addition to the effects of moisture.”

Hassan fears that this archaeological monument, a symbol of Babylon’s ancient power and the authority, will be ruined because of negligence.

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