Saturday, February 26, 2011

Museums of Iraq - cultural assett vs. economic assett

Huffington Post (Larry Coben)

A somewhat un-generous interpretation of why Egyptians gathered to protect museums and monuments from looting.

Why do Egyptians link arms in Tahrir Square to protect their National Museum, while thousands of objects are still missing from the Iraqi Museum and many of their sites look like the lunar landscape?

The differences have nothing to do with love and respect for history, or knowledge of its importance to the world. Most Iraqis know of and revere their iconic sites such as Babylon, Ur and Nimrud; in the same way Egyptians revere the Pyramids, Luxor and Tutankhamen's tomb. All love their history and its importance in the development of civilization.

The difference is that Egyptians also value and utilize their cultural history as an economic asset and not merely an intangible cultural one.


Kate Phizackerley said...

No I can't let that go.

In Karnak village the Mosques arranged protection for two local churches with zero tourist appeal. They did it, I believe, because of a sense of community.

In Alexandria protesters linked arms to build a human chain around the library. Primarilly the library benefits local needs and overs space for things like womens' groups.

Various gaffirs tried, successfully or unsuccessfully, to protect storage magazines which contain items which will never go on display.

In all things people decided that being Egyptian is something they are proud of and, with pride, accepted responsibility.

What a truly dreadful article from HP.

Andie said...

Agreed. Cynicism without foundation.