Support Hyperallergic’s independent arts journalism.
ISIS has destroyed the towering Arch of Triumph that stood for 1,800 years in the ancient city of Palmyra, the latest in the militant group’s series of attacks that threatens to completely obliterate the World Heritage Site. Syria’s Directorate-General for Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) confirmed from an eyewitness that ISIS blew up the monumental structure on Sunday, leaving yet another pile of rubble where an architectural treasure once stood.
“The Arch of Triumph was pulverized. IS has destroyed it,” Mohammad Hassan al-Homsi, an activist from Palmyra, told AFP. UNESCO’s director-general, Irina Bokova, condemned this latest loss as a war crime, as she has done following previous attacks on the city.
“This new destruction shows how extremists are terrified by history and culture — because understanding the past undermines and delegitimizes their claims — and embodies an expression of pure hatred and ignorance,” Bokova said in a statement. “Palmyra symbolizes everything that extremists abhor — cultural diversity, dialogue between cultures, the encounter of peoples of all origins in this caravan city between Europe and Asia.”
Built by Roman emperor Septimus Sevirus between 193 and 211 CE, the triple arch was one of the city’s most recognizable symbols, standing tall at the eastern end of Palmyra’s grand colonnade, which spanned one kilometer in length. Carved geometric and floral ornaments adorned its top; according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, ISIS “detonated the arches only and kept the pillars,” citing sources who claim the group targeted the arches due to their inscribed symbols. The Arch of Triumph connected the colonnade with a yard leading to the Temple of Bel, another historic structure militants recently destroyed.
“Every passing day, we at DGAM are more worried about this significant historic city of the invasion of ISIS and their terrorist militants, for what Palmyra stands for of tolerance and multicultural richness, the things ISIS hates,” DGAM said in a statement.
Just last week the Getty Research Institute announced its acquisition of a suite of 150-year-old photographs; among them are albumen prints of the arch as photographed by French naval officer Louis Vignes. The black-and-white images now exist as even rarer primary documentation of the majestic structures before ISIS’s devastation.
“Black infants in America are now more than twice as likely to die as white infants—11.3 per 1,000 black babies, compared with 4.9 per 1,000 white babies, according to the most recent government data—a racial disparity that is actually wider than in 1850, 15 years before the end of slavery, when most black women were…
he ownership of images has a long and nuanced legal history, which has evolved dramatically in recent years as cultural standards and photographic technologies have rapidly advanced
The show, which honors the 50th anniversary of an exhibition history once ignored, continues a series of projects documenting Wilmington’s contemporary art scene.
Renty and his daughter Delia. Renty was an enslaved African, kidnapped from the Congo, sold and forced into slave labor on the South Carolina plantation of B.F. Taylor
What is the relation between possessing a person, possessing their image, and dispossessing their progeny
As a scholar of African American history and photography whose work has focused on the status of violent images in museums and archives, I fully support the validity of Ms. Tamara Lanier’s claim and the amicus brief.
Two K-12 art teachers will each receive a $1,000 cash gift and an additional $500 to put toward classroom art supplies. Nominations are due October 31.
The daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor, Delia, Drana, Alfred, Jack, George Fassena, and Jem remained in an unused storage cabinet until 1975, when it was discovered by an employee of the Peabody Museum.
I am writing in support of the amicus curiae brief submitted by Professor Ariella Aïsha Azoulay of Brown University for the full restitution of the daguerreotypes of Renty Taylor and his daughter Delia, currently held by Harvard University, to their familial descendant, Tamara Lanier.
We cannot be indifferent to the long-lasting effects of photography. The photographs at the center of Lanier v. Harvard are relentless in making Renty and Delia Taylor work and perform as slaves. The pain inflicted on them has not ceased. Photography has the capacity to propagate harm, and we have the moral obligation to interrupt…