January 15, 2005

Talibanning Babylon?

If this is true - that the US/Coalition forces ‘have caused irreparable damage to the ancient city of Babylon’ - then I can’t see that its much, if at all, different from the Taliban destroying the Bamian buddhas.

As it is no less an authority than The British Museum that reports

“Sandbags have been filled with precious archaeological fragments and 2,600 year old paving stones have been crushed by tanks”

there seems little reason to doubt the veracity of this terrible story.

The BBC quotes John Curtis, author of the museum’s report, as saying that when American troops occupied the site of Babylon, some 50 miles (80 km) south of Baghdad, this was

“tantamount to establishing a military camp around Stonehenge”.

Against this, US military spokesman Lt Col Steven Boylan said the base, which has around 6,000 troops under Police command, is needed to “further defeat terrorists and insurgents”. He stated that any excavations or earth work that had been carried out was done so in consultation with the director of the Babylon museum and an archaeologist.

From the British Museum report, one wonders what these experts were taking at the time.

Seeing that for many people the destruction of the Bamian buddhas was sufficient reason in itself to rid the world of the Taliban, the demolition of Babylon must potentially be an even greater crime against history and art, deserving a proportionately more severe punishment.

Bottom line is, there are some things, doesn’t matter how much money you got, once gone, you can never get them back.

Posted by Iain Stewart at 11:38 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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