In this Nov. 28, 2016 file photo, a fragment of an Assyrian-era relief shows the image of a genie holding a pine cone at the ancient site of Nimrud that was destroyed by Islamic State group militants near Mosul, Iraq. At a two-day UNESCO conference, Iraqi officials are asking for money and expertise to reclaim the cultural heritage that is on the verge of complete destruction by the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo)
Iraqi officials are calling for international help to reclaim archaeological sites and other heritage destroyed by Islamic State extremists.
A two-day gathering at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization headquarters in Paris beginning Thursday brought experts in archaeology, scholars and diplomats together with officials from Iraq.
The meeting's goal is a plan to preserve and rebuild the cultural heritage damaged and destroyed by the Islamic State group.
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Iraqi Vice Minister of Culture Qais Hussein Rasheed says he hopes the liberation of Mosul's airport will soon reveal what has become of the vast areas across the river that IS has held for over two years.
Rasheed says Iraqi forces have found in areas already liberated tunnels where extremists stashed looted artifacts with plans to sell them.