Friday, March 16, 2012

Precious past: why the ancient assets of Greece and Egypt must be saved

The Guardian, UK (Jonathan Jones)

While Greece and Egypt are destabilised by the eurozone debt crisis and revolution, we must do more to protect their vast store of the world's antiquities

In the British Museum on a Sunday afternoon, ancient faces look back at children and adults alike. Inside their glass cases, pharaohs and priests are unfazed by the crowds. And crowds there always are, for these are the painted coffins and carved masks of the ancient Egyptians, relics of a culture that has entranced the world for thousands of years.

Ancient civilisation is part of the world's heritage, and in recent times it seemed nothing could seriously threaten that inheritance. Tourists visited such sites as Giza in Egypt and Olympia in Greece safe in the assumed knowledge that we were seeing wonders that would always be available to admire.

Yet the instability of the world in 2012 is a threat to the apparently tranquil monuments of antiquity.

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