and today doubts about a heritage that no one dares to defend

The iconoclastic fury of the ISIS adepts, the modern caliphate, that went wild in the museum in Mosul, the ancient Nineveh, the capital of Mesopotamian culture, and documented in detail on film, has devastated viewers of the planet in these last few days of February 2015 . The services broadcast by the propagandists of the caliphate were generously welcomed in the show schedules of all the broadcasters around the globe. The fury of the bearded adepts of the last, in order of time, of the theocratic revolutions, in white suits, with primitive clubs and jack hammers has hit upon millennial statues, witnesses of a culture that, being other than their own, had to be destroyed. The past should not affect the revolutionary present. It can, on the contrary, finance it with the sale of archaeological finds on a market without too many rules, as already reported by archaeologists and scholars to whom, however, too many minutes on television and too many columns in the newspapers have not been dedicated. It is not the first time that such a slaughter is consumed. The history of humanity is full of similar incidents. Without “continental” exceptions. Libraries burned, temples violated, museums destroyed or dismembered. Where reason does not find solace and acclaim, violence intervenes. And now more than ever that violence becomes easy propaganda thanks to the images that , through the Web, in real time, reach everyone, everywhere. The wars these days are consumed in places that have important pasts. Well-armed armies, with recognizable uniforms and not, bombard territories and cities that have a great significance in the evolution of Man. I also think of Libya, now dominated by two governments, with offices in Tripoli and Tobruk, of which only the first one is recognized by the organization of sovereign states, who have been confronting each other for months and where an army also operates, Isis, about whom little is known (or they want little to be known). The Italian media (and European) stutter in telling about the Mediterranean odysseys of refugees, immigrants, fugitives, of … (the new terms that are politically correct are invented every day to define those unfortunate people who entrust their fate in rubber boats, barges, sea carts). I think about the Libya that I had the opportunity to visit in 2004, just ten years ago, although it seems like a century ago, and as it appeared to me, in its contradictions, as in the photographs that follow, and I wonder what has happened to it! What has happened in Benghazi, to the rationalist architecture of the regime built by Italian architects as Cabiati and Alpago Novello? What is happening in Apollonia? And in Tolemaide do the echos still resound in the Roman theater? Is the Temple of Apollo still standing in Cyrene? And can the house of Jason still boast of its mosaics? Have the buildings of the ministries of Hun, the capital city in the desert, which Gadhafi built to forget Tripoli ever been inaugurated? And what remains of Leptis, the largest city of the Severi that rivaled Rome for its magnificence? What about the Forum with friezes marked by massive stone lion heads? And the fish market with its beautiful marble benches supported by griffins? And in Sabratah, are the columns of the imposing theater still standing? In Tripoli, they are certainly not playing with Modiano cards anymore, nor is it possible to taste an espresso from an Italian machine, nor are they cheering Juventus anymore. And does the university where the students were many still exist? And are the Roman mosaics and marble statues preserved in the archaeological museum in the Revolution square still in place? What is of the monumental bronzes of the Fileni brothers, dismantled because of the arch that Fascism wanted to build to mark the boundary between Tripolitania and Cyrenaica and that Gaddafi relegated into the small museum of Sirte after leaving them in the middle of the coast road for about thirty years? Will the Roman statues of Apollo be rediscovered in the parks of Hollywood villas? And the mosaics next to the pools? Who knows?

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