Monday, 25 August 2014

Safeguarding Culture

Former CIA analyst Aki Peritz ('The Islamic State isn’t just killing people. It’s destroying a culture', Washington Post opinion Aki Peritz August 22) argues US "should work with those willing to spirit whatever artifacts can be saved from the conflict zone. The administration should also work with the Kurdistan Regional Government, Turkey and the European Union to house whatever collections can be saved from the Islamic State’s murderous fanatics".  Is preserving culture just about moving a few old and valuable artefacts out of harm's way, or is it a little more complex than that? What about collectors (in the US a lot of them) who claim that by curating loose items they are in some way preserving culture? Who moves what, where, how and when does it go back, and where?

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