Thursday, February 26, 2015
We have seen it all before, not just in recent times, but throughout history, whereby a group claiming to represent a ‘greater force,’ takes it upon itself to expunge the art, history and all things that many hold up as great and good! Whether it was invading forces burning and destroying Roman architecture or statues, or boo- burning in the 1930s; all examples leave us with ‘less’ to remind us of glorious or inglorious pasts. More recently we witness the Taliban destroying incredible monuments carved into a cliff, because they judged them to be against the ‘true religion.’ The world, including most of the Islamic world were aghast at such vandalism. Today, I watched with sadness as ISIS ‘freedom fighters’ destroyed ancient artworks in territory they have conquered in Iraq. Then, on the way to work, I listened to the radio announcing that ISIS are trying to form an alliance with Boko Haram. One wonders at what destruction will result if that ever comes about. Maybe it is time to store examples of humankind’s better heritage examples and have them in strongholds that are impregnable to these ignorant savages. I do not mean, in the West, but in proven sanctuaries around the world. I am sure China would be more than willing to help out. We could reach out to Putin and have some in ST Petersburg, and yes---some in the British Museum. As situations change, they could move around and allow people to see these magic pieces of the better side of humanity. For those that simply cannot be moved, then we need to look at placing them under the protection (where possible) under a multi-national force. Perhaps this latest example of the depths to which ISIS sinks can galvanise some real action against this insidious group. I do not mean military force alone---unless the funding source is cut off and the reasons for such groups existence is addressed, then they will continue to grow and exert their evil influence and inspire disenfranchised groups within many societies. Watching sledgehammers destroy wonderful works of art sickens me and reminds one about how we can never see again that which has gone before---except in replica format.