Tag Archives: Russia

Major cultural sites caught in crossfire of Georgian conflict

Reports are beginning to hit the net about heritage sites that have been damaged or destroyed in the conflict between Georgia and Russia. Here is a rundown of a few of the items being discussed:

In his post Fog of war obscures state of cultural heritage sites in Georgia, Tom Flynn of the artknows blog, recounts what’s at stake–including three sites on UNESCO’s World Heritage List and fifteen more on the Tentative List. He references the ICOMOS, (the International Council on Monuments and Sites), website, which states “the entire cultural heritage of Georgia is endangered,” and recounts a preliminary report prepared by ICOMOS Georgia  regarding the shelling of a sixth-century Ateni Sioni Church, where affiliated professionals were working. Casualties in the heritage preservation field are being reported as well. Among the points Flynn presents in his long investigative piece:

  • Approximately 345 registered historical monuments and archaeological sites are located within the main conflict zones
  • The ICOMOS draft reports concern over news of rockets being fired into the Uphlistsikhe rock-cut city (5th-century BC-7th century), a site on the World Heritage Tentative List
  • Reports of looting of the 11th-century Samtavisi Cathedral (another candidate for inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage List)
  • The International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) has issued a ‘Watch List’ of “Georgian museums in uncertain conditions situated in regions occupied by the Russian Army.
  • The villages of Tamarasheni and Qurta were destroyed and possibly the buildings of the museums as well

Meanwhile, the Russian non-governmental news agency Interfax, based in Moscow, reports that Georgian fire destroyed many cultural monuments in South Ossetia. Among the monuments in question were 19th century cathedrals and architectural memorials dating to the eighth and ninth centuries. The article quotes Alexander Kibovsky, head of Federal Service for law observance supervision in the field of protection of cultural heritage as saying:

“When Georgian forces intruded to South Ossetia all mentioned monuments were destroyed or suffered a great loss because of their barbarian operations.”

The impact of the war on a team of archaeologists from the University of Winchester’s Department of Archaeology is discussed in the post Archaeological excavation affected by war in Georgia from the BAJR Blog. The team was on an expedition with Georgian colleagues to excavate a rural site shortly before the hostilities began. All of the British team, which included 10 students from universities across the UK and seven experienced archaeological and specialist staff, were able to return home the day before the conflict began. The University of Winchester had been forging ties with the Georgian Archaeology Commission to strengthen archaeology courses at Georgian universities. The expedition’s co-director, Dr. Paul Everill is quoted as saying:

“We are an expedition of archaeologists and historians, but we all share a love of Georgia, its culture and its people. We hope to find some way of raising whatever funds we can to eventually help the country rebuild.”

Related Links:

Risk of Destruction from Historic Sites in Georgia-The Cultural Property Law Blog

Georgia on My Mind-Cultural Property Observer

Georgia, Eredvi village, near South Ossetia-YouTube iReport video

ateni sioni photo by perret.rukhadze on Flickr

Preservation Today Netcast: Iowa Floods, Blogging Museums, Safety on the Net

August 2008 Contents include:

Archeologists confirmed that Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia is the site of President George Washington’s boyhood home. The site was found after a seven year search and more than 500,000 artifacts from 11 time periods have been found.
National Geographic

Fox News

New York Times

RMJM Hiller has been hired to complete an independent evaluation of Charity Hospital in New Orleans. The report should play a major role in decisions concerning the construction of new hospitals in the area. Charity Hospital is the most prominent example of art deco architecture in in New Orleans and it has a history that goes back more than 250 years.

The Foundation for Historical Louisiana

Building Design and Construction

Next American City Magazine

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation has acquired 189 acres of one of the nation’s most endangered battlefields. The acquisition will protect Cedar Creek Battlefield for the controversial expansion of a nearby limestone quarry.

Shenandoah Stories

Washington Times

National Park Service Digest

Record-breaking floods across the Midwest have destroyed or damaged numerous cultural institutions, public buildings, rural landscapes and historic districts. Brucemore, a site owned by the National Trust, has become a hub for recovery efforts. Several organizations are heading up recovery efforts including Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area and The American Institute of Conservation.

Iowa Floods

The National Trust Weblog

The 9th annual VAST International Symposium on virtual reality, archeology and cultural heritage will take place in Portugal this December. The symposium will present a dialogue on the present and future of archeology in the 21st century.

VAST Symposium

Only 1,800 gingerbread houses remain in Russia as the country struggles to balance preservation with the demands of development. In Tomsk, Russia, $3 million from the city treasury is being used to restore these buildings.

International Herald Tribune

The New York Times

More than $165,000 have been awarded to fund research projects that use technology to advance preservation. Four projects were funded as part of a grants program administered by the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Those receiving funding include The National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Tulane University.

David Morgan, Chief of Archeology and Collections at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, gives information on what the center looks for in a grant proposal and how to apply.

Morgan also speaks about the upcoming “Prospection in Depth” workshop in San Francisco.

Prospection in Depth Archaeology Workshop

Museum 2.0 is a blog by Nina Simon on heritage issues. The site explores how museums can apply social media principles to become more engaging, community-based and vital to society.

Museum 2.0

Jonathon Bailey, creator of Plagiarism Today, one of the web’s top resources for content and privacy issues, talks about how to protect your content online. Bailey discusses the importance of monitoring your content and how to license your work under Creative Commons.

Jonathan Bailey on the web:

Site: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/plagiarismtoday

Podcast: http://www.plagiarismtoday.com/

Email: jonathan@plagiarismtoday.com

Online content and Identity protection resources

http://creativecommons.org

http://www.copyscape.com/

http://www.bitscan.com and http://www.copyalerts.com

http://www.copyright.gov

http://www.domaintools.com

http://sciencecommons.org/

http://www.wikipedia.org/

http://www.archive.org

Cast and Crew:
Jeffery K. Guin, executive producer

Brittany Byrd, producer

David Antilley, director

Adam Caldwell, assistant director

Farrah Reyna, anchor

Lane Luckie, anchor

Partners in this production:

City of Natchitoches, La.

Silos and Smokestacks National Heritage Area

National Center for Preservation Technology & Training

Northwestern State University of Louisiana