Archive for March 2nd, 2008

Update: road over Tara = Taliban-like cultural erasure

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Another update on the controversy over the building of a motorway over Tara, one of Archaeology magazine’s top 10 archaeological stories of 2007.

BBC Ulster radio has an in depth documentary on the subject very much worth the 28 minutes of listening time. It puts the NPR story I linked to in my previous update to shame.

Here’s a money quote from the UK chief executive of the World Monuments Fund, Dr. Jonathan Foyle (at 12m 38s in the broadcast):

The World Monuments Fund watch list contains all sorts of endangered sites – this one actually reminds me of the Bamiyan Buddhas which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 against international uproar.

It was a government which decided that these monuments would be erased and cultural erasure is part of the game of war and buildings very often suffer from that.

This entire site is the equivalent of Stonehenge, Westminster Abbey for its royal associations, Canterbury for its Christian associations – all rolled into one.

And that is to be made way for, well, maybe not a radical Islamist view of God, but it is a radical view of Western consumerism as a be all and end all which must be serviced by the state.

I really that to destroy culture to shave 20 minutes off a journey time and to turn County Meath into a vast carpark is really quite a radical thing to do.

You tell ’em, brother. :notworthy:

For the short version of the documentary, see this article.

For the full version, click here: Download

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