Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Who Burned the Museum?

The Conflict Antiquities blog is reporting on various theories on who burned a museum in a Kurdish area within Turkey.   It makes for interesting reading, but all the speculation glosses over an important point.  Museums and archaeological sites in places like Egypt, Iraq, Syria and now Turkey have become targets precisely because hated dictatorial or authoritarian governments have appropriated the past to help further their own agendas.   So, is the greatest threat to the preservation of the past in such countries Western collectors or the nationalistic regimes that use the past to lord it over the locals?

1 comment:

Wayne G. Sayles said...


Some of your readers might be enlightened by reading "A Nation and its Ruins" by Professor Yannis Hamilakis or "Archaeology Under Dictatorship" by Michael Galaty and Charles Watkinson, editors. Archaeology has unwittingly become a pawn in the hands of repressive forms of government worldwide. Sadly, it could be said that in recent years the phenomenon has spread to America.