“The Race to Save Syria’s Archaeological Treasures” (via the Smithsonian) – James Harkin from the Smithsonian Magazine writes on the destruction that has faced Syrian archaeological sites since the outbreak of war in 2011. Destruction has been wrought from all angles and has resulted in arguably the greatest loss of cultural heritage in history.
“Where Museums Go to Shop for Rare Works of Art” (via the Smithsonian) – Contrary to what may be popular belief, museums do not always collect items via donations and bequests. They also purchase them. Southern Holland sees a massive art fair held every year in Maastricht at the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF). If you have the money, you can purchase ancient jewelry, sculptures, and artwork by masters.
“Lead ink from scrolls may unlock library destroyed by Vesuvius” (via New Scientist) – The city of Herculaneum’s library was destroyed almost 2000 years ago. Fortuitously, the tragedy spared a large number of papyrus scrolls. In the past, we were not able to read their contents due to technology or endangering the scrolls by opening them. Now, however, we may be able to discern their mysteries – lead was detected in the ink, and with specific technology, we may finally be able to see what is in them.
“Shakespeare’s skull ‘probably stolen’ from Stratford grave” (via BBC) – This may come as a surprise, but it may be that Shakespeare’s skull is not with his body. Although that is absolutely horrible, it really wouldn’t be the first time body parts from famous people were missing. Here’s hoping that Shakespeare’s turns out to be intact.