IFAR Decries Deliberate Targeting of Cultural Sites

January 7, 2020

The International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR), a nonprofit organization dedicated to integrity in the visual arts, decries the U.S. President’s threats against cultural sites in Iran. This is contrary to American values.

In December 1943, in the midst of World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, then Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces and later President of the United States, declared that we were “bound to respect … monuments so far as war allowed.” This attitude was later codified in the 1954 Hague Convention, to which the U.S. is a signatory. Underscoring this policy is a belief that cultural sites and treasures transcend the transitory political regimes of their respective countries, and are part of our world heritage. Iran has 24 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Does the U.S. really want to go down in history as a country that has deliberately targeted and, heaven forbid, destroyed cultural treasures that have lasted hundreds, even thousands of years, and represent the best that human beings can accomplish? We believe this is not how our nation wishes to be remembered.