A lot of cultures for nothing?

photographs by Massimo Pacifico

The television program No Comment transmitted by Euro News on February 19th 2015, showed footage shot (presumably the day before) in Aleppo, Syria, that documented the gun firing (mutual) of the forces in the field, without words as the format of Euro News foresees. The cameramen authors of the images have proved to be very careful by focusing on the fire arms… fire (howitzers, mortars, guns mounted on tanks, machine guns, Kalashnikov). None of them have thought about focusing on what is (still?) left of the historic city, an ancient witness of so many cultures? So I will remain in doubt about the “historicity” of the images that I took in February 1998 (the date of the visa on my passport does not leave space for any uncertainties to my now poor memory) in a city that seemed pleasant, inhabited by curious people who loved life, full of capable artisans and children who knew how to happily play with very little. What happened to the medrasa Al Kardosa and its silvery domes? And what remains of the citadel? And what happened to Palmira? To Apamea? To Bosra? To Ebla, excavated by Italian archaeologists? Are the pillars of the Roman “colonnaded” roads still standing ? Have the century-old walls of the Crac des Chevaliers held? And are the golden mosaics of the Umayyad mosque in Damascus still there? Weapons make great images and prime time entertainment, but does culture not?


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