Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lost and Stolen Antiquities of Iraq

The importance of mankind's historical artwork cannot be measured. Iraq is where the first civilizations began and where mankind grew into the lifestyle that we are now accustomed to. It is a tragedy that the precious artwork of our ancestors is treated with such disrespect. When we went to war with Iraq some of the artwork was lost and very possibly stolen. The only way I can see that the artwork could be protected is if the invading army chooses to take care that it gets into the right hands before it is looted. This would involve knowing what artwork is important and where it resides. It would be a very time consuming job for the invading army to know where the art resides and how to take care of it accordingly. So time consuming in fact that in the majority of cases it would not be in the invaders best interest to preserve the art. We as an army of the United States would seemingly have a measure of control over what happens to the art but we do not know how much control it really takes to secure it all. The artwork in its own right is very precious and we should do all we can to protect it.
With each piece there is a undeniably huge amount of history involved and it should be protected for future generations to appreciate and study. But unfortunately the temptation of selling the art to rich collectors for huge profits is a real problem. Greed is the human condition and the Iraq people are hurting for money and thus it is expected that looting will be a problem. As a caring and thoughtful people our army should do all that is in their power to keep this historical art in good condition. Although the specific problem lies in the individual whom doesn't understand or does understand but doesn't appreciate how important these historical works truly are. Everybody needs to take it upon themselves to create a safe environment for what is the history of mankind manifested in physical art.

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