What's this? / Report Bad Ads
Latest News
Pope Francis

Names of archbishops to receive pallium from Pope Francis

June 28, 2017. On June 29, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis will bless the palliums of the Metropolitan Archbishops. This year, 36 have been appointed. The list is as followed
Vatican

Vatican comments on situation of missing Chinese Bishop Shao Zhumin

June 26, 2017. Bishop Peter Shao Zhumin, from Wenzhou in Continental China, was taken into custody by Chinese police on Easter weekend 2017. While recognized as a bishop in the Catholic Church, he is an unofficial bishop or "underground” in China, since the Chinese government does not recognize him as religious.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis' complete schedule for Colombia trip

June 23, 2017. He will go to Colombia September 6-11.
Vatican

Bruno Marie Duffé, new secretary of the Department for Integral Development

June 16, 2017. Thepope has named French priest Bruno Marie Duffé, from Lyon, number two of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. He will be in charge of one of the key offices in the Vatican Curia.
Pope Francis

Angela Merkel to meet with pope on June 17

June 9, 2017. The Vatican has confirmed that on Saturday, June 17, German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Pope Francis. Both have previously met in Rome in May 2016, February 2015 and May 2013, two months after Pope Francis was elected pontiff.
Pope Francis

Pope Francis to meet with Venezuelan bishops on June 8

June 5, 2017. Pope Francis will meet with Venezuelan bishops next Thursday to discuss the situation their country is facing.
Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

May 31, 2017. The Brazilian priest Alexandre Awi Mello, the National Director of Brazil's Schönstatt Movement, will serve as the new secretary. He was born Rio de Janeiro in 1971, and ordained a priest in 2001.

Archaeologist on Syria and Iraq: The artistic pillaging is very grave and irreparable

2016-01-22

Along with tremendous loss of life in Syria and Iraq, one can add the destruction of unique ancient heritage. In what's known as the "Cradle of Civilization,” the Islamic State is destroying the memories of humanity in the area. 

PAOLO MATTHIAE
Director, Archaeological Mission in Ebla, Syria
"The looting that has happened in the territories of these two countries is extremely serious. Naturally the situation is worse with the willful destruction that is perpetuated by ISIS.”

Since arriving in the area, Islamic State militants have knocked down extraordinary monuments like the Green Church, one of the oldest testimonies to Christian life in Iraq. They've also damaged the Tomb of the Prophet Jonah, a site of both Christian and Muslim pilgrimages.

PAOLO MATTHIAE
Director, Archaeological Mission in Ebla, Syria
"The looting of archaeological sites, from Syria to Iraq, in these past few weeks and months, has obviously caused irreparable damage because they have violated and destroyed sites of historic significance, archaeological significance, and extreme monumental and important significance.”

In Iraq, the Assyrian city of Nimrod was destroyed with bulldozers. It's the site where, in the Bible, the tower of Babel existed. It dated back to the eighth century BC. The United Nations called its destruction cultural cleansing and a war crime.

Largest parts of the Syrian city Palmyra has been turned to dust. Satellite photos, along with footage shot by jihadists themselves, show how ancient temples have been destroyed.

It's a fate that plenty of monuments in the area have met.

The damage is irreparable, though it's not too late to stop all of the Middle East's ancient history from being wiped off the planet.

PAOLO MATTHIAE
Director, Archaeological Mission in Ebla, Syria
"Facing this loss, reconstruction is something that can allow a partial recovery. It not only contributes to the identity of these countries but also their own artistic heritage, monuments of humanity.”

The latest victim of the destruction is the Christian monastery of Saint Elias in Mosul. It's the oldest monastery in the country, dating back 1,400 years. And satellite imagery confirms it has already been destroyed.

The Islamic State has doubled down on its cultural destruction strategy. On one hand, they have destroyed works. On the other, they sell art on the black market. They have already earned at least 50 million dollars selling cultural treasures.

It's estimated that 300 archaeological sites have been damaged during Syria' civil war. It's a sad fate for the same spot that some of the earliest developments in science, technology, commerce, art, and civil society originated from.


AC/ATO
EP
-JM
-PR
Up:YA