Members of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have destroyed two historic mausoleums in the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria's top antiquities official said Wednesday, raising fears that the armed group could next target the town's famed Roman ruins.
Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the government's Antiquities and Museums Department, told [AP] that ISIL destroyed the grave of Mohammad Bin Ali, a descendant of Imam Ali, cousin of Islam's Prophet Muhammad... — Al Jazeera
Previously on Archinect:ISIS allegedly not interested in bulldozing Palmyra architecture but intends to "pulverize" statuesISIS militants seize control of ancient Syrian city of PalmyraAncient Syrian city of Palmyra under threat by ISISISIS continues destruction of ancient artefacts, burns Mosul...
In an apparent video message, ISIS forces occupying the ancient city of Palmyra and its environs have stated that they do not intend to bulldoze its architecture, but plan to “pulverize” unspecified statues that they believe have been worshipped by “heretics” in the past. [...] The veracity of the message cannot be independently confirmed, but it has been assumed to be authentic by specialists on the subject, including the journalist Hassan Hassan, co-author of “ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror.” — artinfo.com
Previously:ISIS militants seize control of ancient Syrian city of PalmyraAncient Syrian city of Palmyra under threat by ISISMeanwhile in Palmyra: ISIS executes more than 300 civilians in Syria’s Palmyra
Islamic State militants swept into the desert city of Palmyra in central Syria on Wednesday, and by evening were in control of it [...].
Palmyra has extra resonance, with its grand complex of 2,000-year-old colonnades and tombs, one of the world’s most magnificent remnants of antiquity [...] that has raised fears both locally and internationally that Palmyra, a United Nations world heritage site, could also suffer irrevocable damage. — nytimes.com
The ruins of an ancient city that have withstood centuries of conflict in the Syrian desert are now facing their greatest threat yet: the militants of the Islamic State.
Activists, officials and citizens of the city say ISIS has launched a prolonged assault on Palmyra, an "oasis in the desert" north of Damascus that the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO says contains the "monumental ruins of a great city that was one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world." — mashable.com
The US Army is looking to recruit the next generation of “Monuments Men and Women” to help preserve sites and cultural property in combat zones and to advise troops on heritage. [...] It is turning to museum directors, archaeologists and preservationists to fill these posts. [...]
With extremist groups such as Islamic State using the destruction of cultural heritage as a tool of war, such expertise is needed more than ever. — theartnewspaper.com
Sometimes it's easy to pretend that architecture exists outside of this world, erupting instead in the blank of a 3D space governed only by the laissez-fair laws of software. But sometimes a news headline will penetrate through this fog of imagination, appearing as a blazing light shining forth...
In the tents of Syrian refugees, stories abound and tragedies surround them daily... With the passage of time, a tent becomes a home and shelter, their only place in this limited world. When rain exhausts the roof of the tents and wind uproots them, the refugees agonize as much as they did over the destruction of their houses in al-Raqqa or Aleppo. “We may have grown accustomed to our tent. Some of us like it, and others still cannot stand it. Do you know how the world can become a tent?” — Al-Akhbar
As a result of the Syrian civil war, there are now 3 million Syrian refugees registered in neighboring countries — an exodus that began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday. The record figure was 1 million refugees more than a year ago, and an additional 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that "almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives," it said. — Al Jazeera
As the Islamic State rampages through Syria and Iraq, thousands are being displaced to add to the growing refugee population created by a civil war against Bashar al-Assad. The Islamic State actively uses infrastructure, specifically hydoinfrastructure, as a militaristic tactic exacerbating...
Friday, August 8:Guggenheim Bullies Journalist: Molly Crabapple reports for Vice on inhumane immigrant labor conditions on Saadiyat island in the UAE, where a new arm of the Guggenheim (and Louvre, and NYU) is being built. The Guggenheim holds its cards close and skirts responsibility when...
While the civil war in Syria has killed tens of thousands of people, it has also destroyed countless of the country's ancient treasures. Now a number of Syrians are trying to save what artifacts they can -- and are risking their lives to do so. — spiegel.de
US museums are teaming up with the Syrian Interim Government’s Heritage Task Force to help protect Syrian museum collections and stem the loss of cultural heritage amid the country’s ongoing civil war.
Late last month, experts from the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, and the Pennsylvania Museum’s Penn Cultural Heritage Center quietly organised a three-day training session for curators, heritage experts and civilians in an undisclosed location outside of Syria. — theartnewspaper.com
Zaatari is becoming an informal city: a sudden, do-it-yourself metropolis of roughly 85,000 with the emergence of neighborhoods, gentrification, a growing economy and, under the circumstances, something approaching normalcy, though every refugee longs to return home. [...]
The change, accelerated by regional chaos and enterprising Syrians, illustrates a basic civilizing push toward urbanization that clearly happens even in desperate places. — nytimes.com
Many of the world’s displaced live in conditions striking for their wretchedness, but what is startling about Kilis is how little it resembles the refugee camp of our imagination. It is orderly, incongruously so. Residents scan a card with their fingerprints for entry [...]. Inside, it’s stark: 2,053 identical containers spread out in neat rows. No tents. None of the smells — rotting garbage, raw sewage — usually associated with human crush and lack of infrastructure. — nytimes.com
For the sake of argument, let's say that Bashar al-Assad is on the phone. He wants her to build him a prison in Damascus. "Well, I wouldn't mind building in Syria," she shrugs. "I'm an Arab and if it helps people, if it's an opera house or a parliament building, something for the masses, I would do it. But if someone asks me to build a prison, I wouldn't do it. I wouldn't build a prison, irrespective of where it is, even if it was very luxurious." — the guardian
She won't build a prison? How many buildings have been designed, and constructed where the intent is one thing, and the ultimate use has been for something quite nefarious? I don't care who she builds for, ultimately she has to live with those decisions, but she can't be this naive, and expect...
“Protecting heritage is inseparable from protecting populations, because heritage enshrines a people’s values and identities,” she said. “Serious damage has already been inflicted on Syria’s heritage. The destruction of sites such as the historic souk [market] in Aleppo has made headlines around the world. I urge all parties to take all necessary precautions to stop the destruction of Syria’s cultural heritage.” — Al-Ahram Weekly
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