veled Ziggurat pyramids, palaces laid waste. Islamic State wreaked destruction on the ancient city of Nimrud in Northern Iraq. When Iraqi forces retook the site near Mosul last month, the extent of the damage was revealed.>> Islamic State's destruction in Northern Iraq makes international collections like this one even more important.
I'm Lucy Fielder, reporting for Reuters from the British Museum's Assyrian collection, which is the largest in the world.>> Nimrud was once the capital of the greatest empire the world had ever seen, ruling much of the Middle East for four centuries. In its reign of just two years, Islamic State wreaked havoc.
Destroying giant winged bulls like these that guarded palaces in Nimrud, Nineveh and Khorsabad for nearly 3,000 years. John McGuiness leads the London Museum's Iraqi heritage emergency scheme.>> The loss to global heritage in Iraq could not be worse. These are unique monuments going back to the 9th century BC and were in use for two and a half centuries.
Nimrud was a capital of the Syrian Empire. It was really the center of the world for a large part of that time. And the wanton destruction of it is something which can't be replaced and which breaks all of our hearts.>> The program trains Iraqi archaeologists in the latest conservation techniques and technology at this critical time.
>> This scheme is designed to offer training to up to 50 Iraqi archaeologists over the next four years. In order to help equip them with the skills they need to assess and deal with the archaeological heritage and territory as it is vacated by ISIS.>> It's a bleak picture added to by the militants' rampage through Palmyra, Syria.
But on the bright side McGuinness says much remains to be discovered. And as excavation resumes in Northern Iraq with intensified global interest and support he expects there to be many finds to come.