Monday, August 24, 2015

Salute to those working to save history from ISIS

I was off most of last week for various reasons and during that time a lot of the information news was negative and ISIS related. The terrorists beheaded the former general manager for antiquities and museums in Palmyra, Khaled al-As'ad. He was 82 and had spent 40 years dedicated to his profession. I hope a fund and honor is established in his name. I feel terrible for him and his poor family. He was so dedicated in trying to save some of the artifacts and historical treasures for humanity that he was killed. It is absolutely appalling. Today I read the terrorists have likely blown up another temple. The cost of their attempt to rule humanity and denigrate parts of it is even more appalling than their mass destruction of history and the culture of nations and, ultimately, the history and early culture of the world.  Many of these early antiquities pre-date divisions of nations or religions, showing our shared history and culture. I salute those professionals and volunteers working in very difficult situations to save the treasures not just of their nations but of all the world from destruction. Some 35,000 historical antiquities have been removed from sites and museums, cataloged, photographed, and packaged to be moved to safety. Interestingly, 400 statues and busts and some 600 vases stolen from Palmyra, a World Heritage and UNESCO site, were smuggled out, probably ISIS attempted to sell them on the black market for antiquities, were found, and have been returned to Syria and are now being cared for. It is clear that ISIS is selling some items to get funding for their activities. Read more about it here http://www.cnn.com/2015/08/24/middleeast/syria-isis-palmyra-ruins-temple/index.html

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