Wednesday´s deadly attack on innocent people at the Bardo museum in Tunis has shocked and disturbed all of us. The members of FIEC, on the behalf of the classicist associations all over the world, would like to express their heartfelt condolences to all the victims and mourners of this horrible act of cruelty. Our genuine sympathy lies with all the families that have lost loved ones as well as with all those associated with the Bardo museum.
In remembrance of the people who were killed and injured during the attack, we also feel the need to voice our concern about cultural artefacts which are being endangered by conflicts in the Middle East and in Africa. Unfortunately, the famous Tunisian museum that displays, amongst other treasures, one of the world´s largest collections of Roman mosaics is only one of too many cultural heritage sites that have been threatened, damaged, or destroyed during a period of only a few years.
We feel that, in addition to saving lives and averting humanitarian crises, it is the duty both of international leaders and of the general public to adopt all necessary measures in order to preserve our cultural heritage. It is unacceptable for any person, group, or organization to annihilate irreplaceable artefacts of human and natural history. It is also unacceptable to deliberately put any of such relics at risk in the pursuit of ideological ends.
We encourage not only the Bardo museum but all institutions contributing to the world´s cultural richness to steel themselves against any kind of intimidation and to keep up their good work. We have to stand together in order to preserve what is essential to all of us.
It is, of course, on a note of sincerest condolences that we end this mournful address to our readers. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this terrible tragedy.