Thursday, October 8, 2015

Two Ways of Protecting Syrian Cultural Property

Two ways of protecting Syrian cultural patrimony emerged during the past week.

First, the AAMD announced protocols for safe haven of cultural property endangered by war, something that CPO heartily supports, but which is a concept that has provoked opposition from ASOR (which is running the State Department's Syrian Cultural Heritage Initiative) and the Archaeological Institute of America.

Second, Russian warplanes reportedly bombed Palmyra, a move welcomed by the Assad regime's director of antiquities who hopes the Russians will drive out ISIS before the site is destroyed.   So far, the same groups that have criticised the AAMD have been silent as to the reported Russian actions.

CPO wonders how long before Putin is being heralded as the savior of Syria's antiquities, at least in some quarters.

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