Ancient History, Lost in the Maldives
The destruction of Hindu and Buddhist antiquities at the Maldives National Museum is highly distressing and provides a further indicator that the political turmoil in the island nation is unleashing extremist elements in the country. What’s truly sad about the attack is that the wing of the museum that was vandalized was intended to showcase the ancient history of the Maldives in order to educate native Maldivians about their pre-Islamic heritage, and that’s been wiped away now. The museum’s exhibits included this beautiful coral stone carving of the Goddess Lakshmi from the ninth century that likely has been destroyed.
Despite the new President’s claims that there is “no extremist violent action” in the country, it seems hard to believe that these ancient artifacts were targeted by a mob without any direction or guidance. If the new government really wants to show that it is a credible and legitimate government for the country, it should pursue the investigation fully, no matter the political ramifications.