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
South of San Francisco, a whole town is being deformed by plate tectonics. [...]
This is Hollister, California, a town being broken in two slowly, relentlessly, and in real time by an effect known as “fault creep.” A surreal tide of deformation has appeared throughout the city.
As if its grid of streets and single-family homes was actually built on an ice floe, the entire west half of Hollister is moving north along the Calaveras Fault, leaving its eastern streets behind. — bldgblog.blogspot.com
My name is Abdallah AlQassab, nearly 50% of us are unemployed and we are very available to show you around — Theguardian
In response to graffiti artist Banksy's Make this the Year YOU Discover a New Destination Gaza tourist video, the territory's parkour team show us what real life is like there and their dreams beyond the border. To the sounds of Palestine's biggest female hip-hop artist, Shadia Mansour, join...
Islamic State militants ransacked Mosul’s central museum, destroying priceless artefacts that are thousands of years old, in the group’s latest rampage which threatens to upend millennia of coexistence in the Middle East.
The destruction of statues and artefacts that date from the Assyrian and Akkadian empires, revealed in a video published by Isis on Thursday, drew ire from the international community and condemnation by activists and minorities that have been attacked by the group. — theguardian.com
The Chinese government has promised to protect a rural mountain village that contains some of the country’s oldest temples and residences. [...]
Despite designating Banpo as a protected heritage site in 2007, the Jincheng city government nonetheless allowed the Shanxi Jincheng Anthracite Mining Group to displace the village later that year. [...] Nearly every building was destroyed and those that remained were left in ruins. — theartnewspaper.com
The mere utterance of Vanport was known to send shivers down the spines of "well-bred" Portlanders. Not because of any ghost story, or any calamitous disaster—that would come later—but because of raw, unabashed racism. Built in 110 days in 1942, Vanport was always meant to be a temporary housing project, a superficial solution to Portland’s wartime housing shortage. [...] In a few short years, Vanport went from being thought of as a wartime example of American innovation to a crime-laden slum. — smithsonianmag.com
The city estimates that some 4,500 of its total 10,750 sidewalk miles are in disrepair. According to a 2007 USC study, the city repaired a grand total of 64 miles of sidewalks, or 1.4 percent of damaged sidewalks, improving the city’s backlog to 72 years.
The reasons for this civic embarrassment go back even longer than 72 years. They are twofold. One is political, the other arboreal. — nextcity.org
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
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