Why care

Katie Herzog notes a commonality in mourning cultural destruction:

As I watched Notre Dame burn yesterday, I was reminded of the fire at the National Museum of Brazil last year and the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban in 2001. You didn’t have to be a Brazilian or a Buddhist to care about those losses, and you don’t have to be a Catholic or a Parisian to care about Notre Dame now.

I’ve blogged about both of those, and a lot more – the shrines in Timbuktu, the statues in Palmyra, the mosques in Gujarat.

Art works aren’t people, but art works matter to people, so it’s not devaluing people to give a damn when examples of the human genius for creating objects that matter to people are demolished. Ancient artifacts have a big place on the universal mattering map.

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