Tuesday, August 29, 2006

LEBANON'S MAJOR ANTIQUITIES SITES ARE UNSCATHED after the war, according to the National Geographic Society, which has brief reports and a photo gallery on six of them. There's this general statement:
But as fighting escalated after a Hezbollah raid into Israel on July 12, many people feared for Baalbek and Lebanon's other archaeological and cultural treasures. Now that a tentative cease-fire has been declared, experts returning to the country say that the sites—which have successfully survived decades of violence in the war-torn region—appear to have once again emerged unscathed.
This seems to contradict the report of damage to the Temple of Bacchus at Baalbek. I hope the new report is right, but we'll see. Regarding the Baalbek temples, the National Geographic report says:
During the recent conflict between Hezbollah and Israel, the temples were considered a Hezbollah stronghold, with militant fighters patrolling the ruins.
I trust we'll be hearing lots of condemnations of this blatant violation of the Hague Convention by Hezbollah.

Also, the report on Byblos does not mention the oil spill. I'm not sure why. Are the ruins back from the coast so they weren't affected? Still, I would think it merited a mention.

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