Tuesday 29 July 2014

Renfrew, Monument Destruction a War Crime

They destroy tombs
wearing masks
Lord Colin Renfrew has criticised the destruction of the Mosques and shrines of Iraq by ISIS militants and compares the loss to the destruction of an English medieval cathedral. He adds:
“It would seem that governments are powerless to intervene militarily. But the loss of Iraq's cultural heritage by deliberate action could be considered a war crime. The United Nations, advised by Unesco, could condemn it, and seek to proffer charges against the perpetrators. Such charges could be implemented when the political situation changes, as in the case of the charges against Slobodan Milosevic and other Serbian leaders recently,” he says. Meanwhile, Sam Hardy, an honorary research associaconflict antiquities.
te in archaeology at University College London, commented on the conservation challenges, saying: “Governments, IGOs [inter-governmental organisations], NGOs [non-governmental organisations] and others may be able to help by documenting looting and destruction (or supporting and processing locals' documentation), to enable prosecution and reconstruction, and by building capacity for conservation and reconstruction at the earliest opportunity in the post-war environment.” Hardy is documenting the damage on his blog,
Buying antiquities from the region without checking that they are not soiurced to ISIS is aiding and abetting war criminals, but utterly irresponsible collectors in the UK and US only laugh.

Gareth Harris, 'Blowing up Mosul's historic mosques is 'a war crime'...', Art Newspaper online: 28 July 2014.

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