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Vandalism Archives • Elginism

Showing 5 results for the tag: Vandalism.

February 1, 2016

Satellite images show ISIS destroyed Iraq’s oldest monastery

Posted at 2:01 pm in Similar cases

Iraq’s oldest Christian Monastery has been destroyed by ISIS, according to analysis of recent satellite photos of the area.

St Elijah’s monastery in Mosul had been used as a place of worship for 1,400 years.

US Soldiers celebrate Easter Mass at St Elijah’s monastery in 2010

US Soldiers celebrate Easter Mass at St Elijah’s monastery in 2010

From:
Guardian

Isis has destroyed Iraq’s oldest Christian monastery, satellite images confirm
Associated Press
Wednesday 20 January 2016 12.16 GMT

New satellite photos confirm what church leaders and Middle East preservationists had feared: the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been reduced to rubble, yet another victim of Islamic State’s relentless destruction of heritage sites it considers heretical.

St Elijah’s monastery stood as a place of worship for 1,400 years, including most recently for US troops. In earlier millennia, generations of monks tucked candles in the niches, prayed in the chapel and worshipped at the altar. The Greek letters chi and rho, representing the first two letters of Christ’s name, were carved near the entrance.
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April 16, 2014

Is removing an act of vandalism vandalism? – AKA the Banksy Paradox

Posted at 1:06 pm in Similar cases

Had I just seen the first story, there would have been a different take on this, but juxtaposed with another story that also appeared today, it raises far more questions.

The first case is not the first time that Bristolian street artist Banksy has become the topic of this website. In the previous instance, the controversy involved the owner of a wall removing the artwork that had appeared on it one night. The local residents complained, even drawing parallels to the Parthenon Marbles. While the case raised other issues though, the person who did the removing had a legal entitlement to do so, as it was their own wall.

This case however is a clear cut instance of Elginism. The person who removed it is claiming that they had a right to do so because it was in a public place, but now they are claiming it as their own & planning on selling it to raise money. I’m not sure in what way this can not be construed as theft. If don’t own something & you take it, the law is fairly clear cut that this constitutes theft.

However, the second article raises the question of what is vandalism. Since a few years before the start of the financial crisis, the levels of graffiti on walls in Athens has massively increased. Walls that were once pristine & respected have become noticeboards of conflicting political ideologies & poorly thought out solutions to the problem. Many of these are vandalism plain & simple, but they have none the less been documented by people, as one of the most indelible records of the change in the city as the crisis took hold. Now, the social messages in some of the better executed pieces are being analysed further – the works have in effect crossed the same boundary that Banksy did, where vandalism becomes art.

Now – it is worth pointing out that this is a very fuzzy boundary. For some people, it is clearly art, while others continue to maintain the view that the perpetrators should be prosecuted. It is intriguing though how this boundary shifts – Other than his fame / notoriety as an individual, what defines the artistic merit in Banksy’s work that makes people angry when it is destroyed, versus the works of a barely known Greek protester that are routinely scrubbed from walls by municipal workers?

"Access Control," a mural by the Greek street artist iNO on Pireos Street in Athens

“Access Control,” a mural by the Greek street artist iNO on Pireos Street in Athens

From:
Independent

New Banksy art ‘Mobile Lovers’ removed with crowbar, hoarded in youth club
Christopher Hooton
Wednesday 16 April 2014

Banksy’s latest official artwork, being dubbed ‘Mobile Lovers’, has been prized off a Bristol wall by an opportunistic local with a crowbar.

Broad Plain Boys Club manager Dennis Stinchcombe removed the image of a man and a woman distracted by their smartphones from Clement Street, believed to be on plywood, and hopes to sell it for hundreds of thousands of pounds.
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May 30, 2013

Chinese Schoolboy exposed as vandal at Egyptian temple

Posted at 1:02 pm in Similar cases

The Chinese Schoolboy who carved his name on a sculpture on the wall of an ancient temple in Egypt has had his name exposed online & is now being subjected to online harassment as a result. While graffiti on ancient sites is something to be condemned, it is hardly a new problem – even Byron (who much criticised Elgin’s removal of the Parthenon Sculptures) carved his initials on the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio.

Having said this, Egypt’s antiquities currently face far bigger problems than initials scratched on a wall – and perhaps focusing people’s attentions on this distracts from the enormous scale of the actual issues faced at present.

From:
Independent

Chinese schoolboy, 15, exposed as Egypt’s ancient temple graffiti vandal
Internet users name and shame teenager who scratched 3,500-year-old artwork
Clifford Coonan
Beijing
Tuesday 28 May 2013

The parents of a Chinese teenager who scratched his name into a 3,500-year-old Egyptian artwork have apologised for his actions after internet users tracked down the boy to name and shame him.

The 15-year-old, from Nanjing, was identified after a photo of his graffiti – which said “Ding Jinhao was here” in Mandarin – at the Temple of Luxor was posted online on Friday.
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August 14, 2012

Should the Bamiyan Buddhas be rebuilt?

Posted at 12:49 pm in Similar cases

The destruction of the Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 led to international outcry. Looking back at it today though, their are different points of view over what should happen to the site now. As with sites such as the Acropolis, there are those who want to restore it to how it was originally, whereas others think that it should be stabilised in its current state, rather than attempting any sort of rebuilding. As with the Acropolis, this is the sort of issue, which has no clear right or wrong answers.

From:
BBC World Service

13 August 2012 Last updated at 00:44
Bamiyan Buddhas: Should they be rebuilt?
By Stephanie Hegarty

The destruction of Afghanistan’s Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 led to global condemnation of the Taliban regime. But the decision by Unesco not to rebuild them has not put an end to the debate about their future.

When the Taliban were at the height of their power in Afghanistan, leader Mullah Omar waged a war against idolatry.
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July 12, 2012

Saving Timbuktu from destruction by militant groups of Islamist vandals

Posted at 12:56 pm in Similar cases

If efforts are not made to prevent further vandalism, much of the heritage of Timbuktu could be lost in a similar way to the Bamiyan Buddhas some years ago. Once an item is destroyed, it will never be there again – a later recreation can never replace all the detail & the stories that associated themselves with it.

It is worth remembering that the people who are making these actions – against items that have been there for many years – are not representative of Islam, but represent a small extremist minority. At the time this article was written, I was in the South of Morocco – in a little town called M’Hamid at the end of the surfaced road on the fringes of the Sahara. In Morocco, as in Mali, there is a strong tradition of Sufi sites that are revered – but there, it seems to be tolerated & integrated into the country’s culture with few problems – it is something that has always been like that for as long as people can remember & is accepted as an integral part of their religion.

From:
Guardian

Will anyone save Timbuktu from Islamist tomb raiders?
Jonathan Jones
Monday 2 July 2012

Militant fundamentalists are destroying the Malian town’s legacy with pickaxes. Someone must step in to stop this atrocity

What a sick joke. I wrote in the Guardian today about lost art. But looking at the news, I see that some of the world’s great treasures are being destroyed, lost forever, at this moment.

In Timbuktu in Mali, great art is being attacked right now, as if it were an enemy. It is being assaulted, smashed, assailed. The aim is total destruction. The same brand of militant Islamism that deprived the world of the Buddhas of Bamiyan is now being turned on medieval tombs that are among the wonders of Africa.
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