Episode 39: ISIS's War on Cultural Heritage & the Modern Day 'Monuments Men' Who Are
In the past month, the murder of a Syrian Archeologist by ISIS terrorists and their senseless destruction of two temples at the UNESCO World Heritage site at Palmyra sent shockwaves through the archeological community, and drew media attention to what very well may be the biggest threat to the word’s shared cultural heritage since World War II. The maniacs of the so called Islamic State are blowing up historic monuments and looting and selling priceless ancient antiquities in what is now their second biggest revenue source only behind oil.
In this podcast I talk with the men who are leading the charge to rescue some of the most important treasures of the ancient world before it’s too late.
Dr. Amr Al Azm who served as Director of Scientific and Conservation Laboratories at the General Department of Antiquities and Museums in Syria and as Head of the Centre for Archaeological Research at the University of Damascus. Now he’s an associate professor of Middle Eastern history and anthropology at Shawnee State University in Ohio, and he’s chairman of the Syrian Opposition’s Heritage Task Force.
Then I talk with Roger Michel Jr. He’s the founder and executive director of the Institute for Digital Archeology, which is using some high tech gadgets to catalogue ancient monuments and artifacts in hope of recovering and restoring them one day for future generations.
Download the episode here on iTunes.