It is a cruel irony that a region so blessed with the treasures of early human civilizations is also among those most troubled by conflict. As the violence threatens to annihilate some of history's greatest monuments, we count the cost of our irreplaceable losses — edition.cnn.com
Six years ago the then-mayor launched an ambitious plan to reconstruct the lost walls, watchtowers and Ming-style homes of the city – resettling tens of thousands of residents and transforming Datong into a tourist site. Now few want to live here — theguardian.com
Weizman has also made a name for himself as the chief proponent of “forensic architecture”, by which he analyses the impacts of urban warfare for clues about the crimes that were perpetrated there. To Weizman, buildings are weapons. When he looks out across the landscape of the occupied Palestinian West Bank [...] he sees a battlefield. “The weapons and ammunitions are very simple elements: they are trees, they are terraces, they are houses. They are barriers.” — theguardian.com
Culture officials in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions in eastern Ukraine have ordered museums to put their most valuable pieces into storage, and some institutions have closed to the public, as fighting continues between pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian government forces.
Ukraine’s culture ministry has also asked that the media refrain from “emphasising objects of cultural heritage” to avoid their being targeted [...]. — theartnewspaper.com
Leading British archaeologist and member of the House of Lords, Colin Renfrew, says the destruction of historic mosques in Mosul, northern Iraq, by Islamic state militants (Isis) “is a disaster for the cultural heritage of Iraq, and indeed of Islam”. The Prophet Jirjis mosque and shrine in Mosul was destroyed on 27 July, according to unconfirmed press reports. The 14th-century mosque was the latest in a series of holy sites targeted by the jihadist group. — theartnewspaper.com
The mosque was built on an archaeological site dating back to 8th century BC and is said to be the burial place of the prophet, who in stories from both the Bible and Qur’an is swallowed by a whale.
It was renovated in the 1990s under Iraq’s late dictator Saddam Hussein and until the recent militant blitz that engulfed Mosul, remained a popular destination for religious pilgrims from around the world. — arabnews.com
Istanbul is the city of transformation and contradiction. As an urbanist, I am trying to keep record and make sense of this transformation and am especially interested in its winners and losers. At the moment we live in a giant construction site, where skyscrapers, mega projects and urban renewal projects are taking place all around. There is a gold rush to real-estate development. — theguardian.com
While searching for images of highway interchanges in urban areas, I came across these historic aerial photos of Detroit on a message board, showing how the city fabric has slowly eroded. It’s a remarkable record of a process that has scarred many other American cities. — usa.streetsblog.org
Yesterday, art lovers around the world were shocked when someone strolled into the Pérez Art Museum Miami and destroyed a $1 million vase by Ai Weiwei. [...]
The vandal is actually Maximo Caminero, a well-known local painter who has shown works at the Fountain Art Fair. He tells New Times that he destroyed the vase to make a point. — blogs.miaminewtimes.com
"I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here," he says. "They have spent so many millions now on international artists. It's the same political situation over and over again. I've been here for 30 years and it's always the same."
“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
The mosque, which is a Unesco world heritage site, has been in rebel hands since earlier this year but the area around it is still contested. — BBC News
Both the state news agency and footage uploaded on YouTube show the 'disappearance' of Aleppo's Umayyad Mosque. The mosque is a Unesco world heritage site but has been at the heart of bitter fighting for several months as rebels try to oust President Bashar al-Assad. In photos published by AP...
Demolition, on the one hand, seems like an essential part of a building's life cycle, but when it comes to important architecture milestones, it makes you wonder why these buildings warrant such an ending. This month (March, 16th), it was exactly 40 years since the first building of Pruitt-Igoe was demolished by implosion in 1972. — huffingtonpost.com
The role that architecture plays in all of this is of course limited. New business eventually accrued from rebuilding destroyed buildings will have a negligible effect on the construction economy. So far the London riots have claimed two historic landmarks, the Victorian cottages at Croydon’s Reeves Corner (1867) and Tottenham’s Art Deco Union Point (1930), both of which survived the Blitz. — building.co.uk
The series Broken houses is based on photographs of abandoned structures neglected by man and destroyed by the weather. The photos are found in the web while pursuing an amateur photographer from North Dakota who obsessively documents the decaying process of these houses. His photographs are used to create small scale models. Afterward, in the studio, the models are photographed again, omitted from their background and placed in gray. — acidolatte.blogspot.com
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