International Council of Museums(ICOM) and ICOMOS jointly and strongly condemn any deliberate destruction of cultural heritage

Museums have no borders, they have a network!

Arg e Bam, Iran. Bam is situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau and was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004. Photograph by Nando Pizzini.

In armed conflicts and political upheavals since the turn of the millennium, cultural heritage has been increasingly targeted.

It has been looted or deliberately destroyed, in order to finance warfare or to affect the identity and the confidence of adversaries. Museums, as well as cultural sites, are affected in many countries around the world.

The International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), as representatives of the heritage community in the world, are very much concerned about this evolution and in particular recent developments. ICOM and ICOMOS remind all parties of armed conflicts of the 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

There, States Parties agree that “damage to cultural property belonging to any people whatsoever means damage to the cultural heritage of all mankind since each people makes its contribution to the culture of the world”. The United States of America ratified the Hague Convention in 2009, Iran in 1959.

Both countries are also States Parties to the 1972 World Heritage Convention, which the United States of America was the first country to ratify in 1973 and played a key role in promoting. Iran is home to 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of great cultural and natural importance – not only to Iranians but to humanity and its collective memory.

Moreover, in 2017, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2347 that states: “directing unlawful attacks against sites and buildings dedicated to religion, education, art, science or charitable purposes, or historic monuments may constitute, under certain circumstances and pursuant to international law a war crime and that perpetrators of such attacks must be brought to justice”.

ICOM and ICOMOS jointly and strongly condemn any deliberate destruction of cultural heritage. We call upon all parties to respect the international agreements that rule armed conflicts and to protect the world’s cultural heritage wherever it is, regardless of religious beliefs or political intentions…


Social Networks and Archival Context [SNAC] is a discovery service for persons, families, and organizations found within archival collections at Cultural Heritage institutions

What is SNAC?

SNAC (Social Networks and Archival Context) is a free, online resource that helps users discover biographical and historical information about persons, families, and organizations that created or are documented in historical resources (primary source documents) and their connections to one another. Users can locate archival collections and related resources held at cultural heritage institutions around the world.

SNAC is an international cooperative including, but not limited to, archives, libraries, and museums, that is working to build a corpus of reliable descriptions of people, families, and organizations that link to and provide a contextual understanding of historical records. A complete list of SNAC Cooperative members can be found here

The Meaning of Life According to Different Philosophies

Can the meaning of life be told in a word? Maybe it is naive, but there is nothing wrong with wanting a simple answer to an apparently simple question: why live? Here we visualized the most prominent philosophies that tackled this question over the past 5000 years.

All philosophies on the meaning of life seem to fall into one of the four groups:

  1. life has an objective meaning;
  2. life has a subjective meaning;
  3. life has no meaning;
  4. life has a supernatural/unexplainable meaning.

The philosophies of the East and West also follow a pattern: Easterners think in terms of “we”, the community, while Westerners think in terms of “I”, the individual…

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