Friday, 2 December 2011

Vandalism caused through conflict – what happens next?

By F. Needham

Vandalism, especially when caused by conflict, causes lasting consequences to cultural heritage. Two case studies, namely the Bamiyan Buddhas and the Meroë Head/Head of Augustus, provide examples inflicted in modern and ancient times respectively. They also demonstrate that the damage caused varies, as while the Bamiyan Buddhas suffered destruction, the head ironically survived.
Target audience: The poster is designed to inform undergraduate archaeology students about the topic, as they do not necessarily know what the consequences of vandalism are when it comes to conservation of cultural heritage. It also might serve to interest them in conservation as a field of study after completing their archaeology degree.

Images of the Bamiyan Buddhas are sourced from Prof. A. Gruen ETH Zurich, and images of the Meroë head © Trustees of the British Museum.

1 comment:

  1. I selected this topic because I thought it was important to highlight the dangers/consequences vandalism causes to cultural heritage, especially when it is caused by conflict.

    This is because the vandalism caused can be extreme, as in the case of the Bamiyan Buddhas. Yet even with a historical example like the Meroë Head, where the means of destruction were not as extreme as with the explosives used at Bamiyan, the consequences are still permanent - the head is decapitated and going to stay that way.

    An ideal solution would be where cultural heritage can be protected from all vandalism, but as the Bamiyan Buddhas prove, even attempts at international intervention do not succeed.


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