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Destruction of Antiquities

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toyomotor View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 Jul 2017 at 08:42
Over the past decades, warring troops have deliberately destroyed what the world has considered treasures of international historic importance.

The fall of Bagdad saw people trashing the Museum, looting exhibits and destroying others. ISIS has set about destroying entire cities of ancient historic importance.

IMHO, these people should be hunted down and charged with crimes against humanity, what they have destroyed can never be replaced.

Does anyone know what, if any, plans exist to apprehend and charge these people?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Jul 2017 at 20:48
You have poor people in these countries, and they feel that whatever they can get through "five-finger discount" (steal) is fair game.  Now many feel national loyalty and don't do that.  And many feel that museums and the tourism that comes with them, is a good deal, but some are looking for a quick buck.

Destruction is a little different, some of it is 'if I can't have it (too big to be looted) no one else can.'  Or they look at themselves as being at war culturally, with the West, with a more liberal Islam, whatever else.  If you asked them what they were against, they would say, "what do you got?"

But getting them on destruction of artifacts is probably low on the list of crimes, compared to burning alive a Jordanian pilot, or executing civilians.  It is interesting that a religion that most identifies with particular sites, (Mecca, Medina, Jerusalem) would also be the excuse for destroying (archaeological) sites.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote toyomotor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jul 2017 at 02:02
Quote You have poor people in these countries, and they feel that whatever they can get through "five-finger discount" (steal) is fair game.  Now many feel national loyalty and don't do that.  And many feel that museums and the tourism that comes with them, is a good deal, but some are looking for a quick buck.

I've not referred to poor people I've referred, deliberately to militants who've desicrated whole cities of historic importance because the whole concept doesn't fit into their ideology.

In the case of Baghdad Museum, I don't know how many of the people were genuinely poor, or were opportunistic looters making a score, nor do you for that matter. The whole point is that in all cases, the world had been deprived of valuable antinquities.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jul 2017 at 22:37
So do people own their culture, or do professionals own their culture?  Some professionals would like it to be illegal to own anything ancient, although they will make exceptions for millionaires who can fund museums and archaeological digs.  I mean, I know a guy who used to work at the Carnegie Museum, and there was a paleontologist there who opposed the gift store selling brachiopods (fossilized seashells), believing that it sets a bad example.  Next thing you know, you'll have Nicholas Cage competing with museums in buying T-Rex skulls.  Same thing is true for archaeology.  Is there a limit?  Should there be a limit?  How exactly could that work?  Is it okay for people to keep a pottery sherd that they find on the surface?  Or is "every sherd is sacred, every sherd is great, if a sherd is wasted, an archaeologist gets quite irate."?  If a sherd is on the surface, there is no "context" that the archaeologist could put it into, although there might be a larger context such as a Mycenaean sherd found in Italy.  So it may be relevant in creating a larger picture, but it is not necessarily relevant.  There is a lot of stuff, that archaeologically speaking, is not that important.  Furthermore, there is a lot of material that is moldering in cardboard boxes in museums, with no preservation, and poorly labeled.  Archaeologists don't necessarily take care of what they got, but they want more things, and more control.  That doesn't mean that ordinary people can take care of it, although anyone with some native intelligence can probably learn how.

You should understand that, for example, anything over 175 years in Italy, is considered cultural property and thus the state has a say about whether it can be sold or brought outside the country.  From what I understand that applies to non-"Italian" objects as well.  Of course, if you rich and connected, you can get permission to sell your stuff on the international market, if you are poor, you're either out of luck or you sell it on the black market.  


Edited by franciscosan - 28 Jul 2017 at 22:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vanuatu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jul 2017 at 17:28
I was scandalized when the Taliban destroyed the Bamiyan Buddhas. Not only the statues but all the caves in the cliff side no doubt had archaeological value.

Then when US invaded Iraq and the Baghdad Museum was looted it upset me too. They were definitely poor people when you see the video it's not revenge against these opportunists that you want.  Chaos is in charge, imagine being there? Or Syria? Those relics are better used to feed the people of that earth.

It appears destruction is now the history.  

The root of all desires is the one desire: to come home, to be at peace. -Jean Klein
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