Babylon Is Open To The Public (But Should it Be?)

The Iraqi government is re-opening the ancient site of Babylon over protests from the state board of antiquities and heritage that the ruins are in bad neglect and shouldn’t be accessible to tourists yet. “The Iraqi government plans to open Babylon to visitors on 1 June, according to news reports. Iraq’s state board of antiquities and heritage is opposing the move, on the grounds that the site needs further protection and investigation before being reopened. This follows the controversial reopening of Baghdad’s National Museum on 23 February, after a government decision to proceed with this, defying opposition from curators who felt that it was too early.” So why is the government pushing for this re-opening despite experts saying that there is “considerable evidence of damage” from the years of occupation and war?

First the Temple of Artemis, Now the Colossus of Rhodes

I had no idea that my closing thoughts on plans to rebuild the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus would turn out to be somewhat prophetic. “Will it signal a new trend in not simply preserving old temples and landmarks, but actually rebuilding them to their former glory? Could we see a new Delphi or Colossus of Rhodes? An embracing of our pre-Christian heritage slipped through the side-door as “tourism”, “art”, and “culture”.”It seems that on Monday, The Guardian reported that plans are underway to rebuild the Colossus of Rhodes.Head of the Colossus of Rhodes, photo: The Roman Mysteries.”It may not straddle the port as its predecessor once did, but in terms of sheer luminosity and eye-catching height the new Colossus of Rhodes will not disappoint. Nor will it fall short of the symbolism that once imbued the ancient monument.

Seven Wonders

Yesterday, the New7Wonders Foundation named the new seven wonders of the world after a worldwide Internet/phone poll. The list, which updates the seven wonders of the ancient world, includes the Great Wall of China, the Roman Colloseum in Italy, and the Christ Redeemer statue in Brazil (full list). But this Internet-age poll has angered and disappointed many, with criticisms coming from all corners. UNESCO, which runs the World Heritage program, has taken pains to point out that it has no part in this contest, that the contest in biased, and that it in no way helps preserve ancient sites.”UNESCO’s objective and mandate is to assist countries in identifying, protecting and preserving World Heritage. Acknowledging the sentimental or emblematic value of sites and inscribing them on a new list is not enough …