Experts say the Islamic State is looting and selling cultural antiquities from Iraq and Syria on an industrial scale.  The destruction and sale of these treasures is not only condoned but has been institutionalized within the Islamic State itself.  And artifacts are beginning to show up on antiquities markets around the world.

专家说,“伊斯兰国”正大规模抢夺和变卖伊拉克及叙利亚境内的历史文物。“伊斯兰国”不只纵容这种具有破坏性的宝物变卖行为,还逐步发展制度化。一些历史文物已开始出现在世界各地的的古董市场上。

In May 2015, Islamic State fighters seized the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra – a UNESCO world heritage site north of Damascus known for its Greek, Roman, and Persian ruins and archaeological treasures.

2015年5月,“伊斯兰国”武装分子攻下了叙利亚古城巴尔米拉。巴尔米拉位于大马士革北方,以希腊、罗马和波斯历史遗址和考古珍品闻名,并被列为联合国教科文组织世界遗产之一。

Many feared they would destroy the priceless remains.

许多人担心,“伊斯兰国”会将这些仅存的无价珍宝摧毁。

When Syrian forces recaptured the city last month, they found a few of the famed monuments were destroyed but many of the ancient ruins are still intact - though  IS was said to have looted ancient graves around the city.

当叙利亚军队上个月重新夺回巴尔米拉时,他们发现几个著名的历史纪念物已经遭到破坏,但许多古遗址仍完整保存,尽管之前有传闻说“伊斯兰国”曾大肆掠夺了当地多处古墓。

In this undated photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows the site of the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria.

约翰·霍普金斯大学教授丹尼尔·瑟维尔说:“他们会说他们是在保卫真正的伊斯兰。他们不在意默罕默德之前的历史,他们也不太在意在那之后的历史真实性。”

Experts say one of the reasons for the destruction has to do with the extremist group's rigid interpretation of history.

专家说,极端分子进行破坏的原因之一和他们严格的历史解释有关。

“They would say they are restoring the true Islam.  They are unconcerned with history before Mohammed and they are not too much concerned with accurate history after that," said Professor Daniel Serwer, who is with Johns Hopkins University.

The Islamic State’s interest in the site is far more than religious, says Deborah Lehr, Chairwoman of The Antiquities Coalition in Washington.

黛博拉·雷尔是华盛顿古物联盟的主席,她说,“伊斯兰国”对这个城市的兴趣不是只有出自于宗教因素。

“They have recognized that there is value in the destruction of culture – in terms of intimidation of local populations and that there is value in the looting of it and then the sale for the raising of funds for their own cause," said Lehr.

她说:“他们发现摧毁文化是有其价值和意义的,能恐吓当地居民,抢夺来的文物还能变卖换取利润,为他们的组织筹得资金。”

Lehr says IS also understands the global propaganda value of destroying a priceless cultural heritage - such as the pillaging of the Mosul Museum in Iraq - making front page news around the world.

雷尔说,“伊斯兰国”也了解到摧毁无价历史遗迹还能为他们制造全球性的宣传广告,她以“伊斯兰国”洗劫伊拉克摩苏尔博物馆而登上世界新闻为例。

“The Mosul Museum under attack and the video that they posted on YouTube has gotten more attention than any other single event," she said.

她说:“摩苏尔博物馆遭到攻击的录像被登到YouTube时,比任何其他事情都吸引所有人的目光。”

There's also a monetary motive.  The Islamic State has created a ministry of antiquities to “industrialize” the looting and sell the treasures.

除此之外,同时还有敛财动机在内。“伊斯兰国”建立了类似“古物部”的部门来进行产业化规模的宝物掠夺和变卖。

“It is going and finding treasure and encouraging people to dig," Lehr said. "And what is unfortunate is that many of these people are not trained archeologists so that we not only lose the treasure, but we lose the whole context in which these are found."

雷尔说:“他们现在正持续寻找历史珍品,并鼓励人们积极开挖。不幸的是,大多数的人都不是经过专业训练的考古学者,所以我们不只失去许多宝贵的历史古物,还失去了那些被找到的古物所象征的整个意涵。”

Under international law, destroying cultural antiquities is a war crime.  And authorities hope one day they will be able to prosecute Islamic State members for their crimes.

根据国际法,摧毁文化古迹为战争罪行。有关当局希望有朝一日能就“伊斯兰国”成员所犯下的罪行对他们进行起诉。