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Minaret of Ana likely the "obelisk" said to have been lost in Iraq bombings

Professor Alistair Northedge asserts that the minaret is the only structure that fits a description provided by US marines

Reports are emerging from Iraq which suggest that the 11th-century minaret of Ana has been destroyed by an explosion.

The reports, from three independent sources among the US marines at Falluja, refer to an “obelisk”, but according to Alastair Northedge, Professor of Islamic Art and Archaeology at the Sorbonne in Paris, the minaret is the only tall structure in the area.

Professor Northedge, who conducted excavations at Ana in the 1980s, said that the minaret is from a congregational mosque usually attributed to the Uquaylid dynasty. The original site was in a valley flooded by Qadisiyya Dam at Haditha in 1984-5, but the minaret was moved to its present location by the Iraqi State Board of Antiquities.

o Iraqi prime minister Nouri al Maliki appointed a new cabinet on 20 May. Dr Liwa Sumaysim is the minister of state for tourism and antiquities. Assad Kamal Al-Heshemi is the culture minister.

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Medieval minaret destroyed'