During his time in power, as head of state and as leader of the all-powerful, secularist Ba’th party, Saddam would oversee an unprecedented program of monumental development across the historic city of Baghdad. This was not limited to monuments of war and hollow bronze shells, but enormous palatial complexes, museums, art galleries, and civic squares [...] marshal it, awkwardly, unevenly, into the post-industrial age, a modern city shaped by the aspirations and egotistical tastes of a despot. — failedarchitecture.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Iraq honors Zaha Hadid with commemorative stamp — which features rejected Tokyo stadium designDestruction of Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery by ISIS militants went unreported for 16 months
In the first case of its kind, the Islamic extremist Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi has today (22 August), pleaded guilty to war crimes for destroying historic monuments in the ancient city of Timbuktu in northern Mali. Al-Mahdi is accused of ordering the razing of nine mausoleums and the 15th-century Sidi Yahia mosque. It is the first time the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has heard a case about the demolition of cultural heritage. — theartnewspaper.com
Learn more about Timbuktu's outstanding value as a world heritage site on UNESCO's website.Related stories in the Archinect news:Palmyra after ISIS: a first look at the level of destructionDestruction of Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery by ISIS militants went unreported for 16 monthsFear grows...
Is planning still important in a city that's been razed to the ground by civil war? Syrian architect Marwa Al-Sabouni thinks so. She describes life in the city of Homs, which has sustained massive destruction during the Syrian war, and reveals what she'd like it to look like in the future. — abc.net.au
Related stories in the Archinect news:New MoMA exhibition explores the architecture of displacementBefore + after photos of Syria's devastated heritagePalmyra after ISIS: a first look at the level of destruction
As the Two-Way reported on Sunday, the Syrian government says its forces have retaken the desert city of Palmyra, in the center of Syria.
The self-declared Islamic State seized the city in May of last year — and soon unleashed a wave of destruction on its defenders, inhabitants and archaeological treasures. — npr.org
Previously in the Archinect news:ISIS militants have reportedly blown up Palmyra's Arch of TriumphISIS blows up 2,000-year-old Baalshamin temple in PalmyraISIS beheads leading archaeologist in PalmyraISIS militants seize control of ancient Syrian city of Palmyra
Iraq’s earliest Christian monastery has been destroyed by Isil extremists. [...] This seems to have occurred in September 2014, three months after the site on the southern outskirts of Mosul was seized by Isil forces. [...]
If the near-total destruction of Mar Elia is confirmed, 16 months after the event, it is worrying that it went unreported, since it suggests that other Christian sites may have also been destroyed without publicity. — theartnewspaper.com
Related stories in the Archinect news:Fear grows over ISIS threat against Unesco World Heritage site in LibyaISIS militants have reportedly blown up Palmyra's Arch of TriumphISIS blows up 2,000-year-old Baalshamin temple in PalmyraISIS beheads leading archaeologist in Palmyra
Isil militants have beheaded one of Syria’s most respected archaeologists and an expert on the ancient Roman city of Palmyra. Khaled Al-Asaad, who was director of antiquities at the Unesco World Heritage Site from 1963 to 2003, was murdered on 18 August and his body tied to an ancient column within the 2,000-year-old archaeological site.
According to Abdulkarim, Al-Asaad was [...] killed for refusing to help Isil find antiquities that were hidden before the invasion of Palmyra. — theartnewspaper.com
Previously in the Archinect news:ISIL destroys ancient mausoleums in historic PalmyraISIS 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 ISIS
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
Two decades after civil war blew the Lebanese capital to rubble, the city centre boasts immaculately rebuilt streets lined with Gucci and Prada stores – but the whole place is strangely deserted
[...] the resulting place feels less souk than Duty Free airport lounge. It is a monotonous world of more swanky high street brands, from Burberry to Tag Heuer, staffed by idle shop assistants awaiting the promised customer footfall that has yet to arrive. — theguardian.com
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
... post-conflict response often disregards the potential of shared spaces to foster reconciliation, the importance of urban plans in managing turbulent population dynamics, and the need for a public realm that enables normal life to continue. "The absence of any architect or planner or designer in the negotiating room is something that has to change,"... — foreignpolicy.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
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
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