When Isis snatched control of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra, the man who had devoted his life to protecting its treasures refused to leave. Khaled al-Asaad rebuffed appeals from friends and family concerned about his safety. "Whatever happens," he told his friend, Maamoun Abdulkarim, Syria's minister of antiquities, "I cannot go against my conscience."Background here and links.
Al-Asaad ended up paying for his devotion to the ruins of Palmyra with his life. Isis operatives had arrested him twice. The second time, they held him for a month and tried to force him to disclose where the city's treasures were hidden. He steadfastly refused, and was executed with the brutality that has made Isis so globally notorious. They dragged him into a public square before a masked man beheaded him.
Isis did not disclose that al-Asaad had thwarted their attempts at thievery. Instead, they put up signs over his dead body, accusing him of having been the "director of idolatory" and an "apostate" who "attended infidel conferences".
His nephew, Khaled al-Homsi, said the family had tried to convince Asaad to leave Palmyra when Isis seized the site. "We knew they would not leave him alone," he said. "We used to stand together and watch the trenches and the barricades go up … he couldn't stop his tears."
UPDATE: The New York Times also has an obituary: Syrian Expert Who Shielded Palmyra Antiquities Meets a Grisly Death at ISIS’ Hands (BEN HUBBARD).