Sunday, June 21, 2015

UNESCO Chief Condemns Mosaic Museum Attack; Archaeological Blogosphere Slow to Follow

UNESCO's Chief has rightly condemned the Assad regime's barrel bombing of the Maarrat al Numman Mosaic Museum.  Yet, in the Anti-American reaches of the archaeological blogosphere, it's just a case of "stuff happens" in war and yet another opportunity to take swipes at the antiquities trade. 

"Stuff" indeed "happens" in war, but in this particular case it's hard to stomach the claim that the bombing was done by "mistake" given the publicity efforts to protect the museum's mosaics from war damage have received in the international press.   Indeed, if anything, it's more likely Assad's forces attacked the museum BECAUSE a consortium of U.S. Institutions were involved in supporting the effort to shore up the museum's mosaics.  One can only hope those efforts succeeded, at least to some extent.

 It remains to be seen how more responsible archaeological blogs respond to this latest tragedy.

Update (6/23)-  It seems none of the other well known archaeological blogs thinks this story is worth comment on.  It's unclear why, but it does again suggest that there is a conscious effort to deemphasize any destruction and looting done on behalf of the Assad regime and instead focus entirely on ISIS.

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