“All that we're wrecking is stones” was Taliban leader Mullah Mohammed Omar's dismissal of the Taliban's destruction of the Buddhas of Bamyan, the largest standing statues of Buddha in the world. The intention of the fighters was not only the destruction of foreign idols, but breaking the soul of a culture. Cultural Emergency in Conflict and Disaster insists that culture is a necessity for national self-respect. International heritage specialists, relief workers and politicians discuss the importance of protecting cultural heritage that is threatened by war and calamity; and reports on projects in conflict zones are augmented by contributions on international administrative and legal aspects, as well as political and socio-cultural perspectives. The result is both an indictment of the senseless destruction of cultural heritage and an argument for culture as a priority in processes of restoration and reconstruction. Designed by Irma Boom, the volume sports an extraordinary scratch-off cover, so that ordinary wear and tear slowly reveals an image beneath the cover's coating.
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