Saturday, November 29, 2014

Archaeo-Blogger Blames US for Damage to ar Raqqha Museum?

Anti-American Archaeo-blogger Paul Barford, apparently oblivious to reports from Human Rights organizations, has suggested that US warplanes were  behind the bombing of the museum in ar Raqqha, Syria.  US warplanes have indeed been active in the vicinity,  but no credible sources have suggested that these strikes against ISIS targets were in the area of the museum.  Rather, it seems far more plausible that the Assad regime was behind the carnage and damage to the Museum, specifically targeting a nearby market in revenge for recent losses to ISIS and ISIS' executions of Syrian troops.

Barford goes onto rant that CPO is using the Syrian tragedy to attack "conservationists" like himself.  But, of course, it is the archaeological lobby that has been using the on-going tragedy in Syria, to not only justify major changes in the law in both Germany and the United States, but additional funding for archaeologists as well.

Meanwhile, "conservationists" seem reluctant to point the finger at the Assad regime for any damage to Syria's cultural heritage at all.  But why?  The reasons given-- fear for the safety of observers on the ground-- seem contrived when evidence of Assad's war crimes are available from open sources.  Perhaps, if it's not a hope to get "back to business as usual" if Assad wins the civil war, it's an unwillingness to do so for fear of undercutting the fundamental UNESCO assumption that UNESCO State Parties are the best stewards of "cultural property."  After all, to whom does the archaeological lobby think any "cultural property" seized by German or US Customs should be returned?


Cultural Property Observer said...

Arthur Houghton asked me to post this:

"Peter, you seem to be suggesting that archaeologists who work in Syria are lickspittle apologists for the Asad regime because they cravenly hope not to have "business as usual" -- their excavation permits -- held hostage. You also cite that undistinguished Polish fellow and suggest that he's either lying, mistaken or plain stupid. It's the season to be charitable, so I favor the latter. He tars his own associates with his obtuseness. I know many and they are fine and honorable people, almost without exception. Perhaps the Polish fellow should consider taking a long vacation -- very long, in some restful and quiet place that can be recommended by the appropriate clinicians.

Warm best wishes,


Cultural Property Observer said...

Arthur Houghton also asked me to post this:

"Peter did you see the picture that our Warsaw friend put up the other day, of two men kissing? A selfie maybe? In any case a pretty clear indication of the Inner Barford, perhaps needful of, indeed asking,, for someone, anyone, to respond in a like manner.. Now I have no issue of any kind with such behavior, but the though of anyone wanting to kiss Barford makes me want to throw up.

You know, I bet he didn't even realize how much of himself he has revealed. I repeat my suggestion that he find a nice quiet place to stay for a very long time, and am sure someone in Warsaw can find the necessary two doctors to certify that's where he should be.

Warm regards, as always,