Monday, February 25, 2013

Germany Helps Smuggle Manuscripts to Save Them

Germany has helped smuggle historic manuscripts from Timbuktu to save them from the clutches of Islamic radicals bent on their destruction. Was removing them from their context to save them justified?  Was Germany helping or interfering by supporting the effort?   I'd say an unqualified "yes" to the first question, and "helping" as to the second.  But what of UNESCO and the archaeological fanatics?  Do they support this effort or not?  I wonder.


Paul Barford said...

Why do you use the word "smuggled" if they were just taken to the capital?

Cultural Property Observer said...

That's the terminology used in the article. They were certainly taken from their context and moved elsewhere on the sly. Was that a good or bad thing as far as you are concerned? And what if they were removed from the country altogether for safekeeping? Would that be okay too? I certainly think so. Do you?