Art of the Middle East is facing the same fate as the museums, works of art, and buildings that stood before World War II and, more recently, the Arab Spring. The Pearl Monument, formerly of Bahrain, was torn down by the Bahraini government last year because it was a point of interest for protestors. The Taliban has destroyed Buddhist art in Afghanistan, most specifically the Buddhas of Bamiyan in 2001. Already, works from Pakistan have been delayed in joining their counterparts in exhibitions, while important Egyptian pieces were left behind altogether amidst its revolution.
When will it end? When will the selfish pursuits of some stop affecting cultural preservation and future enlightenment? Is it only a matter of time until majesty of The Registan (from left to right below: Ulugh Beg Madrasah, Tilya-Kori Madrasah, and Sher-Dor Madrasah) of Samarkand is destroyed?
Visit remnants of historical Islamic art which still remain at The Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition, Byzantium and Islam: Age of Transition, through 18 July 2012. Also, bring these images home in Central Asian Art and Art of Islam, which are available as both ebooks and print books.
-Le Lorrain Andrews