I think the West should take all historical artefacts from the Middle East.

Earl_of_Rochester

Ad Honoris
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
(Brit spelling of 'artifact')


Here's why:














This photo of an 8th Century BC Assyrian statue excavated from Tell Ajajah, near Hasakah on the Khabour River, was taken in May.

Isis has also bulldozed statues of lions along with Sufi and Shia shrines in the Raqqa province, the militant group's headquarters.


IMHO many of these things would be far safer in New York, London, Berlin, Paris or even somewhere like Beijing. Many parts of the Middle East, including Israel and Palestine, are too volatile at the moment for these things to be adequately protected. Even the Egyptian museums lost valuable items during the Arab Spring. They might not belong in the West, but the West is far less likely to descend into civil war where such valuable items of History would be destroyed.

What a pity man's earliest culture is being treated in such a manner, it's irreplaceable.
 
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Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,414
Albuquerque, NM
Without the slightest doubt priceless artifacts, architecture, and archaeological sites of Southwest Asia are in grave danger. ISIS represents the most radical and narrow-mind set of Islam. The dynamiting of Buddhist statues by the Taliban sets a very bad example, and no one should be surprised when religious sites are routinely destroyed in pursuit of theological purity. This little corner of the world is terribly important to the rise of our civilization, and for some recondite Islamofascists to destroy our common heritage is outrageous.

That said, there isn't any practical way to protect those vulnerable buildings, sites and artifacts. The United Nations? They can't even manage refugee camps. If any Western initiative was taken by a nation, or group of nations, the radicals ... ISIS would just use that as a propaganda platform to justify their hatred of anyone who doesn't totally agree with their point of view. Look at the continuing problems that have resulted from the Elgin Marbles. They are certainly safer and better cared for in the British Museum than exposed to the acid rain of Athens, but what Greek doesn't want them back instanter. How would you move a 500 year old building, or a site where statuary and artifacts date from the very beginning of our civilization?

If it looked as if rising sea-levels would destroy the Statue of Liberty by washing away its foundations, would we agree to having the King of Saudia Arabia move it to safety in Mecca?

The result, I'm afraid, is that we will probably see the destruction of important and priceless heirlooms by Islamic bullies over the next few years, maybe decades. To save our inheritance, radicalism has to be made impotent to do such evil. You can't kill them all, and persuading even a modest percentage of the population in Southwest Asia to purge themselves of these monsters is very unlikely.
 

Naomasa298

Forum Staff
Apr 2010
35,917
T'Republic of Yorkshire
Sad though the destruction of these artifacts may be, they're just stuff.

I personally am more concerned about the people than their stuff. If we're prepared to take in buildings and mosaics for safe keeping, I'm sure we could find room for a few refugees in need as well, and the money would be better spent.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,414
Albuquerque, NM
Ah, people we already have maybe too many. Ancient artifacts, art, and clues to how we've developed culture ... not so much. I'd give ten thousand Taliban just to recover one of the statues that they murdered. Civilization it seems has always been under threat by barbarians determined to destroy what they can not create. If we could have the Library of Alexandria complete, why not give up regiments of True Believers who don't much value human life anyway.
 

Jake10

Ad Honoris
Oct 2010
11,960
Canada
As sad as this is, the west does not have the right to go in and take artifacts.
 

Fox

Ad Honorem
Oct 2011
3,937
Korea
Ah, people we already have maybe too many. Ancient artifacts, art, and clues to how we've developed culture ... not so much. I'd give ten thousand Taliban just to recover one of the statues that they murdered. Civilization it seems has always been under threat by barbarians determined to destroy what they can not create. If we could have the Library of Alexandria complete, why not give up regiments of True Believers who don't much value human life anyway.
Ten thousand human lives for a statue?