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Meet 82 year-old Khaled al-Asaad, a hero. 

ISIS militants beheaded and hung his body in the square because he refused to reveal where they had hidden Palmyra Antiques. 

In Arabic, Khaled means “eternal.” How fitting a name for a man who gave his life to preserve history. Keep him in your thoughts.

This news story is a month old but you can read it by clicking here.

Rest in peace Khaled al-Asaad, the brilliant Syrian archaeologist and scholar gave his life to protect the hidden treasures of Palmyra. When he refused to disclose the location of these antiquities after one month of torture at the hands of ISIS, he was beheaded and his body left hanging in the ancient city where he was born and spent life researching and preserving.

I cannot describe how horrified I am each day when I hear of the thousands of Syrian and Iraqi lives that these pathetic, cowardly animals have taken. But what horrifies me more is the lack of action from the West! Surely Islamic State is no match for the military forces of the U.S., so why do they let the Syrian people suffer? We witness these evil acts being committed yet why is nothing being done to stop them?!
Beheaded Syrian scholar refused to lead Isis to hidden Palmyra antiquities
Khaled al-Asaad, 82, interrogated by militants for a month before he was murdered in the ancient city of Palmyra
By Ian Black

Islamic State militants beheaded a renowned antiquities scholar in the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and hung his mutilated body on a column in a main square of the historic site because he apparently refused to reveal where valuable artefacts had been moved for safekeeping. 

This is just incredible. What a hero, giving his life to protect what could never be replaced. Enormous respect. 

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The Case For Buying Antiquities To Save Them

The barbaric murder by Islamic State of Khaled Asaad, the archaeologist overseeing the ancient site of Palmyra in Syria, reported on Tuesday, brings fresh focus on the antiquities that Islamic State, or ISIS, alternately destroys or tries to sell. Given the antiquities’ often bloodstained provenance, how should the West regard cultural property looted from regions of military conflict, specifically Syria and Iraq?

The prevailing view among archaeologists, reflected in bills in Congress, is to exclude from the U.S. all antiquities thought to originate in those countries.

This is a mistake. After decades of museum experience with cultural property of uncertain provenance, I believe that we should accept looted antiquities from these troubled areas, even when such action might be considered “encouraging looting.” The expenses that museums might incur—including the costs of returning the pieces to the countries of their origin—are worth paying to keep them out of reach of ISIS sledgehammers. Read more.