ALQOSH, Iraq, Aug. 3 (UPI) — Jewish officials are appealing to save a 1,500-year-old tomb that is in danger of collapsing just 30 miles from Islamic State-controlled Mosul.
It could be just a matter of months before the ancient tomb of the Hebrew prophet Nahum and his sister crumbles to its ruin, said Sherzad Mamsani, the Jewish representative of the Ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs with the Kurish Regional Government.
Mamsani has asked historical heritage preservation organizations, the United Nations, UNESCO, KRG and all representatives of foreign countries in Kurdistan Region to help preserve the ancient site.
“This site does not only belong to Jews. It’s part of human history, therefore saving it is everyone’s responsibility,” Mamsani said in a statement. “We only ask for the renovation of the site. We have previously asked the KRG to renovate it, but the work was suspended due to the financial crisis that hit the Kurdistan Region.”
He says he has been meeting with the ministries of tourism, culture and religious affairs to ask for help in preserving the historical site.
Mamsani said his team “investigated the structure of the building, consulting experts, engineers and architects, and they report the building could completely fall apart within a couple of months.”
The tomb of Nahum, who correctly predicted the fall of the Assyrian Empire and its capital Nineveh as is recorded in the Bible, lies inside a synagogue in the Christian town of Alqosh, near the cities of Duhok, Erbil and Mosul.