Archive | August 21, 2015

Historic sites fill a variety of the Islamic State’s needs, none of them good

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

Historic sites serve every purpose to the Islamic State except actual preservation of cultural heritage.

The Islamic State alternately destroys and loots historic sites. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons) The Islamic State alternately destroys and loots historic sites. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

The beheading by the Islamic State of “Mr. Palmyra,” Khalid al-Asaad, the retired chief of antiquities for historic Syrian site, Palmyra was the latest insult to both the citizens and the cultural heritage of the territory it conquers. It should be noted that it’s thought that Asaad was first tortured, but apparently refused to reveal the whereabouts of certain antiquities that the Islamic State sought.

Asaad’s execution follows on the heels of two historic tombs in Palmyra that the Islamic State blew up in June. To the Islamic State, historic sites serve three functions.

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