Which makes it strange that US forces decided to base their camp and centre of operations right on top of it. The damage is extensive and may not be reparable according to a report issued by the British Museum.
"This is tantamount to establishing a military camp around the Great Pyramid in Egypt or around Stonehenge in Britain," says John Curtis, keeper of the department of ancient near east at the British Museum in London, UK, and author of the report. "The damage caused by the military camp is a further blow for the cultural heritage of Iraq."
Brick figures on the Ishtar Gate, one of the most precious monuments from antiquity, are reported to have been scarred by repeated looting attempts. The Processional Way, a 2600-year-old brick pavement, has also been crushed beneath heavy vehicles and bricks stamped by King Nebuchanezzar II, of a similar age, have been scattered at the site.
We are suffering under a generation of Philistines and Barbarians.
I remember years ago I was sitting with some Afghan friends as the news of the Taleban's destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas broke.
We cried for a while with the unbelievable shock of it but soon there was anger. My friend said "the US will sort them out - now the world can see they are barbarians".
But the US never sorted them out and now they are doing the same.
And there is no shock or crying anymore. Not even surprise or much comment.