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Cultural Casualties of War



Cultural Casualties of War
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.39

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    posterity, vaults, investigation, catastrophe, tireless, casualty, cylinder-shaped, foresight, investigators, priceless, archaeologists, writing, looters, curator, archaeologist, midst
     content words:    National Museum, Nicholas Roerich, Franklin D., Iraqi National Museum, McGuire Gibson, Iraqi Museum, Sacred Vase, Oriental Institute Museum, Even Indiana Jones, Maybe Nicholas


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Cultural Casualties of War
By Colleen Messina
  

1     Caption: The National Museum of Iraq
 
2     A Russian artist named Nicholas Roerich once wrote, "In Beauty, we are united, through Beauty we pray, with Beauty we conquer." He understood the power of culture. He wrote an international treaty to protect it during war. Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Roerich's treaty in 1935. It is too bad that his idea has not been fully appreciated in the twenty-first century. One example of lost culture was the theft of relics during the Iraq war.
 
3     On April 10, 2003, a "cultural casualty" happened in Baghdad. Looters raided the Iraqi National Museum. The raid lasted for three days. American forces in Iraq didn't protect the museum. Museum staff did what they could to protect their treasures and had the foresight to move some objects before the raids. They hid many valuable artifacts in the basement. Other valuable items went into bank vaults.

Paragraphs 4 to 8:
For the complete story with questions: click here for printable


Extended Activities:

1.  Design an ad for a precious stolen ancient relic from the Baghdad museum that would identify it for officials and art dealers. Describe the item, its use, and what it is worth. Your object can be real or imaginary-maybe even a magical lamp!

2.  Pretend that you are a Sumerian prince or princess in charge of a royal warehouse. Write up your job description. What objects did you store in your warehouse? What kind of pattern would you want on your own personal cylinder seal?



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