Monday, 19 May 2003

US Troops 'Vandalise' Ancient City Of UR

The Russians have a great word to describe how the Americans are behaving in Iraq. It's also applicable to the current US administration, although not to the American people as a whole: nekulturni.

One of the greatest wonders of civilisation, and probably the world's most ancient structure - the Sumerian city of Ur in southern Iraq - has been vandalised by American soldiers and airmen, according to aid workers in the area.

They claim that US forces have spray-painted the remains with graffiti and stolen kiln-baked bricks made millennia ago. As a result, the US military has put the archaeological treasure, which dates back 6,000 years, off-limits to its own troops. Any violations will be punishable in military courts.

Land immediately adjacent to Ur has been chosen by the Pentagon for a sprawling airfield and military base. Access is highly selective, screened and subject to military escorts, which - even if agreed - need to be arranged days or weeks in advance and carefully skirt the areas of reported damage.

There has been no official response to the allegations of vandalism - reported to The Observer by aid workers and one concerned US officer.

Full story...

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