Islamic Militants linked to Al Qaeda have destroyed culturally significant Islamic religious sites in Timbuktu. Back in April, CPO reported that a proposed renewal of the current MOU with Mali had already been overtaken by events on the ground and then concluded,
A recent military coup and the takeover of important cultural sites like Timbuktu by well armed Islamic rebels again raises fundamental questions about whether the State Department and its allies in the archaeological community are really furthering the protection of cultural artifacts or whether their knee-jerk repatriationism does more harm than good.
Yet, it would seem that this latest sad but predicatable news has so far at least been largely ignored by the same archaeological community that was so quick to press for the unqualified renewal of he MOU.
It also remains to be seen what, if any, impact this news will have on the State Department's own decisionmaking.