"Why Targeting Heritage is a Crime Against Humanity"

Bosnian cellist Vedran Smailovic plays an elegy in Sarajevo’s blasted and burned library. Mikhail Evstafiev/Wikimedia Commons
Bosnian cellist Vedran Smailovic plays an elegy in Sarajevo’s blasted and burned library. Mikhail Evstafiev/Wikimedia Commons
January 16, 2020

Dr. Hugh Gusterson, professor of Anthropology here at GW, published an article titles "Why Targeting Heritage is a Crime Against Humanity" in Sapiens. He restates Henry Stimson, former U.S. Secretary of War in WWII, confirming the idea that we as humans need to stand up for and protect the collective heritage of humanity. Gusterson gives examples of the lack of care and appreciation for cultural heritage sites, including the mortar attack on the Parthenon by the Venetians against the Ottomans, ultimately leaving the structure in it's current ruined state. He also discusses the bombing raids in WWII throughout Berlin, leaving the Berlin Cathedral in ruins, and the more recent 2003 looting of Baghdad's Iraq Museum, which both the Iraqi government and invading U.S. Army failed to secure, eventually losing about 15,000 relics and artifacts. For the full article, visit Sapiens webpage.