Earlier this month, the French president, François Hollande, suggested that the Louvre Museum in Paris could possibly become a safe haven for at-risk international cultural heritage. In 2019, the museum will open a new €60m conservation facility in Lievin, France that, in addition to holding the collections of the museum, could also serve as a repository for endangered objects from the Middle East. In addition to acknowledging the destruction caused terrorist groups at sites such as Palmyra, President Hollande also stressed the importance of protecting what is still left against trafficking: “We must put the world’s heritage in a secure place.”
Hollande is going to propose the idea at the Conference on Terrorism and Culture next month in Abu Dhabi.
The proposal brings up many questions about imperialism, colonialism, and the role of the West in the conflicts in the Middle East. What do you think? Should the Louvre hold cultural heritage that is in the crosshairs of conflict? Or does the acquisition of these materials further cultural imperialism?
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