ISIS Rampage: A Threat to Cultural Heritage That Belongs to All

25 Nov 2015 12:24 PM | Anonymous

ISIS Rampage: A Threat to Cultural Heritage That Belongs to All

The world must find ways to intervene and protect antiquities when nation-states cannot do so

James Cuno

YaleGlobal, 26 November 2015

War on history: It may be time to deploy UN's Blue Helmets to preserve ancient antiquity, top; ISIS fighters destroy antiquities in Syria

LOS ANGELES: Warfare has always put cultural heritage into harm’s way, but the threat of today’s armed conflicts are without precedent in the modern era. The breakup of Syria into separate enclaves of influence and governance has put at risk the United Nations’ regime for protecting cultural heritage. The systematic and planned destruction of millennia-old antiquities by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has made the task of the UN more difficult. It is time to consider concrete measures as to how to safeguard the artistic legacy of our ancient past. 

Individual nations have struggled to find a way to stop the Islamic State pillaging Iraq and Syria. President Barack Obama announced his decision to send 50 Special Operations troops to Northern Syria as part of the broader campaign against ISIS. The US effort focuses on advising and training Syrian Arab and Kurdish forces while Russia is aiming its military might in support of the Assad regime