Artefacts Under Attack: What Has Been Damaged And To What Extent?

Buddhas of Bamiyan (1963, 2008). Image Image via Wikipedia

In an article for the Financial Times (FT), writer and historian Simon Schama examines world zones and the efforts to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable architectural and cultural sites. If is a measure, then Schama’s study of William “Basher” Dowsing – an Englishman who, in the winter of 1643, “made it his personal mission to obliterate as much as he possibly could of sacred art in the churches and colleges of East Anglia” in the name of religion – is pertinent now more than ever.

The Proliferation of “Cultural Genocide” in Areas of Conflict

Umayyad Mosque, Old City of Aleppo, Syria (2013).

In an article for the London Evening Standard, Robert Bevan examines one of the many often overlooked consequences of : the destruction of monuments, culture, and heritage. With heightened in the Middle East over the past decade an enormous amount of “cultural genocide” has occurred – something which Bevan notes is “inextricably linked to human genocide and ethnic cleansing.” Arguing that “saving historic treasures and saving lives are not mutually exclusive activities,” case studies from across the world are employed to make the point that with the loss of cultural heritage, most commonly architectural, the long term ramifications will resonate throughout this century.

The Library: A World History

© Will Pryce

Written by James WP Campbell and featuring stunning photography by Will Pryce, “The Library: A World History” (published by Thames & Hudson 2013) explores the evolution of libraries in different cultures and throughout the ages. It investigates how technical innovations as well as changing cultural attitudes have shaped the designs of libraries from the tablet storehouses of ancient Mesopotamia to today’s multi-functional media centres.

Read on for some insights from the book and more of its beautiful photography

The Most Amazing (Unknown) Buildings In the World

Chand Baori. Via Flickr CC User. Image © S. Le Bozec

What makes a building world-famous? The answer is most likely some combination of magnificence, size, and historical importance. But it’s far from an exact science, and many of the world’s most impressive architectural landmarks are therefore not very well known outside of their own locations.

Thankfully, this post on Quora sheds some light on the lesser-known architectural landmarks on the planet. Read on to find out which marvels you may have missed…

Architectural History of the Christmas Tree

© , via deviantART

To join in on all the holiday cheer, we decided to share with you this architectural funny that depicts the architectural history of the tree. We found the clever illustration by Subtle Design on deviantART – “the world’s largest online art community”. Enjoy!

For more, check out our “Architectural Funnies” board on Pinterest! There you will find some of our favorite comics, including last year’s christmas hit: Trees of the Architects.