January 17, 2005
In an interesting subversion of their normal roles in the arguments over cultural property the British Museum is taking the part of the Greeks by becoming the accuser temporarily & the US government / Army are playing the part of the British Museum. They are still using the old scripts though.
First of all, the British museum accuses the US of “Cultural Vandalism” because of their blatant disregard for preserving the heritage on the ancient site of Babylon in Iraq, a phrase that has often been used in reference to the marbles & is pretty much the definition of the French word Elginism.
Now in response the US are claiming that by occupying the site they were actually saving it & if they had not been their driving vehicles through it etc, then it would have been looted by the Iraqis themselves.
The argument that they were not destroying, but saving doesn’t sound any more convincing when the US says it.
Khaleej Times (Poland)
US, Polish troops ‘saved Babylon from looting’
17 January 2005
WARSAW – Polish Defence Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said on Monday that contrary to a report by the British Museum, the presence of foreign troops in Babylon had saved the famous archaeological site for civilisation.
A British Museum report published at the weekend said US troops had caused “substantial damage” to the ancient city by setting up a military base amid the ruins in April 2003 after invading Iraq and toppling President Saddam Hussein.
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