Saturday, 7 March 2015

mos eisley or in popular culture

While there are far more serious and bedeviled threats to cultural heritage in the region with the purging of ancient Persian and Assyrian archaeological sites by ISIL and civil wars, and none need convincing of how the world will be the poorer for their loss for the undiscovered, under-appreciated and the suffering of the people under this marauding terror, maybe there is trivially a new hope in a dedicated, cult fan-base.

There’s already mounting awareness and concern over the set of the Skywalker Ranch in Tunisia, the moisture farm being threatened by increased desertification and local conflicts—and next in the cross-hairs of the Caliphate are the ruins of Hatra. This temple, under threat of the bulldozer and wrecking-ball was the backdrop of the opening scenes of the 1976 British film The Omen, with Ambassador Gregory Peck unwittingly adopting Damien, the Anti-Christ. UNESCO has already significantly levied accusations of crimes against humanity for this wanton destruction, but maybe the sentimentality of cinema-buffs (Petra/the resting place of the Holy Grail, Palmyra, Krak des Chevaliers, Hama, Apamea, Homs) can lend some volume to the outcry.