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Art In The Trenches

Think 2 Comments 450

The battles of World War I took place largely in the trenches. And a walk through those trenches 100 years after the first shots were fired reveals a stunning collection of artwork carved into the walls by soldiers waiting for the war to come to them. We’ll talk this hour about what these images say about the artists who made them with Dallas photographer Jeffrey Gusky. His photographs of the artworks are featured in the August issue of National Geographic.

  • John

    As discussed in the show, I think that this program highlights the pros and cons of revealing these underground networks to the world. One of the callers did a good job of bringing up this issue. The guest’s answer did not give me a warm and fuzzy about the future of these sites. I am curious to know how much study the guest did on how anthropological sites are treated around the world, and especially in France. I have heard that the French are world leaders in anthropology, and I wonder who was consulted before telling everyone about these. One site that comes to mind is the Lascaux Cave Paintings in France, have been protected, and a replica has been created for tourists to visit. Perhaps the French government could create a museum or something similar where tourists could visit. Perhaps this would help discourage trespassers while at the same time allowing for these stories to be told. I had never heard of these underground networks or the carvings left behind, and I am glad that I did learn about it, but I fear for their future. There are sites all over the world that have been looted, damaged etc. by looters and I think that giving such as large voice to a photographer, and not someone educated in the history of preserving sites such as this is dangerous. I think that as a public radio station, KERA has the responsibility to ask who will benefit more from airing this program, the individual guest from receiving all of the attention, the public for learning about these sites, the american people? If the site ends up being highly visited in the future and damaged will it have been worth it? I think that there should be formal protections set up before airing a big story like this. Maybe clear things away with the auction houses before going public, not afterwards. I don’t have the answers to these questions, but I think they should be thought about by the media and everyone.

  • rh

    The cave locations have not been revealed in order to protect the sites. Dr. Gusky carefully explained in the interview that he has gone to great lengths to keep the location of the caves confidential.

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