This essay is an account of truly learning to see what is and is not present in these objects.
On Monday, Hyperallergic reported that Islamist rebels set fire to two historic libraries in the Malian city of Timbuktu (a UNESCO world heritage site), just as French forces and the Malian army pushed them out. The rebels may have destroyed 2,000 of the Ahmed Baba Institute’s volumes of medieval-era scholarship, but there is some good news: many of the archives’ treasures had earlier been removed to private libraries and collections.
The Guardian reports that an extremist Christian group has attacked a print of artist Andres Serrano’s infamous photograph “Piss Christ” (1987), smashing an acrylic plastic barrier around the piece and slashing the print itself with a “screwdriver or ice pick” (WTF). This follows previous attacks on the same photograph in 1997 and 2007.