Friday, February 08, 2013

The US ambassador in Lebanon and the Tyre ruins

"The US Embassy, in response to the outcry over this incident, claims that the vehicle collapsed a “modern wall built to shore up the main road” to the ancient Al-Bass site at Sour ruins. However, any archaeologist familiar with this site knows that vehicles are not meant to drive on that small path—and it is not, in any way, the “main road.” In response to the upset, the Embassy released a statement: “Ambassador Connelly expresses the U.S. Embassy’s regret at this incident,” and she is “coordinating with the Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Tyre to pay for the damages.”
Ironically, according to statements released after an outpouring of criticism in the Arab and Lebanese media, Connelly claimed she was visiting Tyre to promote cultural heritage, survey project sites under the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, and discuss “further ways that the United States may help contribute to the protection of Tyre’s rich cultural heritage.” The humorous—and tragic—juxtaposition of her stated mission with the image of her convoy toppling a wall on such a historic site is providing comedic fodder for several media outlets. "