“They waged a war on art and culture, so I decided to fight them with art,” he told CNN.
In 2015, a year after ISIS began its assault on Mosul and nearby towns, the militants bulldozed Nimrud as part of their campaign to destroy symbols they considered to be idolatrous. UNESCO described the act as a war crime.
In a modest apartment in the Kurdish city of Irbil, where Thabit and his family took refuge after fleeing Mosul, the young artist meticulously carved with his sculpting cutter the beard of Lamassu, an Assyrian deity.
“Lamassu is my favorite statue,” said Thabit. “It is the strongest creature in the Assyrian heritage. It has the head of a human, the body of a lion, the legs of an ox and the wings of a vulture.”
He said it took him about 15 days to complete the piece.
According to a website that …