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Artwork Under Threat From Religious Extremists

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posted on Jun, 22 2006 @ 12:01 PM
A Cairo woman broke into the home of one of Egypt's première sculptors , and in a frenzied religiously motivated attack . the woman destroyed 3 precious works by Hassan Heshmat , her attack was inspired by the recent fatwa issued by the grand Mufti of Cairo , who called for a ban on all statues depicting living beings .
A religiously motivated attack on statues at a museum in Cairo has sparked outcry in Egypt and fuelled fears that the country is veering towards an Islamic state.

The attack on three artworks, by a black-clad and veiled woman screaming, "Infidels, infidels!" followed a fatwa issued by the Grand Mufti of Cairo, Ali Gomaa, which banned all decorative statues of living beings.

Although the ancient treasures of Egypt have been protected under Islam so far, an increasing extremism in the country could make statues such as the quartzite head of Nefertiti, the colossus of Amenhotep, and the golden death mask of Tutankhamen possible targets in future.

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Firstly as a counter point , here is an extract from the BBC reportage of attorney general Ashcroft’s reluctance to be photographed with a semi nude stature

No longer will US Attorney General John Ashcroft appear in public with a semi-nude statue towering above him. ……The US Justice Department has spent $8,000 on curtains to hide the statue from the cameras.

Of course Mr. Ashcroft’s successor can order the curtains removed , but it just goes to show that we all judge that which offends our religious sensibilities .

The destruction of the statues is shocking , however more sinister is the purely religious motive present . the woman smashed the ` the victory leap ` a tribute to Egyptian armed forces in the 1973 Yom Kippur war . eliminating any hint of nationalism or Egyptian

However , before we leap to condemn “ the barbarous Islamists “ its worth noting western nations , and religions have repeatedly shown them selves to be unfit guardians of cultural treasures . Especially those belonging to other cultures . And those works which contradicted stereotypes or the dogmas of Christianity were always the first to be put to the torch , such as the Mayan codices

Lastly , the conclusion drawn by Mr. de Quetteville writing in the Telegraph do disturb me however . A small clique of religious fanatics do not , a fundamentalist Islamic nation make . And condemning a country based solely on the actions of such a small cabal of fanatics is inflammatory and counter productive , it could even push otherwise liberal Egyptians into the arms of the fanatics .

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[edit on 22-6-2006 by ignorant_ape]

posted on Jun, 24 2006 @ 04:06 AM
This is very unforchant. People thinking it is a right or possibly even a good thing to destroy some one elses art work. It is not the first time this has happened. It was hapening on the level of state in Afganastan. And in this case it was done because some figuer head in the position of authority says it should be done. This is not a good and if the people chose not to relise that then the dark ages are aproaching.


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