Marja-Leena Rathje
Home ::: endangered art

endangered art

There are lots of news breaking stories of new archaeological discoveries around the world, especially in newly "opened" countries like Bulgaria and China, as evidenced on Stone Pages and Zinken for example. Even in the British Isles, which seem to be one giant archaeological site, finds are still being unearthed. These are always heralded as important treasures to be studied and protected.

Then why are we reading about long-existing and well-known sites like Stonehenge and Tara Hill, Ireland being threatened by freeways? Global outrage is mentioned, but it seems to me it isn't loud enough.

Then there is the wear and tear and vandalism of unprotected sites, like in Africa. Restoration of the temples in Malta has become a commendable governmental initiative, but why not include those on the island of Gozo?

War-torn nations like Iraq suffer looting of treasures that are turning up in wealthier (and greedy?) Western countries seemingly eager to accept the spoils. I could go on, but I'm getting depressed.

Have a look at Bradshaw Foundation's gorgeous photos of African art and the temples of Malta, and feel the awe and then the outrage.

Some previous related posts:
rock art defaced
rock art threatened by gas exploration
on South African Art

Marja-Leena | 13/11/2004 | 3 comments
themes: Rock Art & Archaeology


The Stonehenge and Tara proposals are an outrage. We are on the threshold here of a huge programme of government-driven house building; my region, East Anglia, is to have half a million new homes. That doesn't sound too bad until you realise how many cars that will bring to our quiet roads and how many new roads will be needed to support them.

Any hope that those proposals can be stopped and changed to avoid the precious sites?

Rampant development has been happening here too and traffic is terrible. Rapid transit takes years to develop with all levels of government fighting each other as to who pays for it. It's the taxpayer who pays!!! The increased growth and traffic is the one downside these days to living here. Where we are living used to be like a little village when we first moved here over 30 years ago.

I think that there is sufficient outrage locally and nationally to force a re-think.

We watched a DVD of that lovely Italian movie 'Cinema Paradiso' this week. It showed a 1930's small town square in the South, wide and serene, hub of community activity. In the nineties, when the dear old cinema was blasted to make way for a car park, the crowd who came to bid it farewell were hemmed in by cars. The calm and perspective of the buildings was gone.