Heritage at Risk

A blog series

by Divya Jayaram
June 18, 2013
Our Heritage is at risk. Cultural heritage sites are becoming collateral victims with the increasing frequency and intensity of disasters, both natural and human induced. The destruction of Bam and its cultural landscape due to the earthquake in 2003, the yellowing of marble on the Taj Mahal from polluted air and water , the recent conflict in Syria which destroyed the Great Umayyad Mosque Minaret , the grazing down of the of the ancient Nohmul Mayan Pyramid in Belize, which was used by construction crews as gravel for a road--these are just some of the examples that prove that our heritage is in peril. In the 21st century alone, we have lost or critically damaged hundreds of our most precious historic sites.

As part of the lead up to our CyArk 500 Launch and Conference in October, we are introducing “Heritage at Risk,” a blog series that highlights the accelerating risks threatening our cultural treasures. Each month, various case studies will be discussed highlighting the different risk factors that threaten our global cultural heritage. These include direct and indirect factors, natural risks that could be catastrophic, sporadic or constant, wars and conflicts, and urban planning policies and their consequences--all of which have a heavy impact on cultural heritage. Through this series, we intend to share how 3D digital documentation, dissemination and archiving can be the first step of intervention to save our history. We also aim to get our readers to think about what we as a community can do to save heritage within our reach, before it is lost to us forever.