Temple of Luxor and vandalism through the ages
Here’s a riddle for you. If you’ve got a temple that’s several thousand years old and a thing of surpassing beauty and someone comes along and carves their name in the wall, is that vandalism?
Does it change the answer if you realise the name was carved a hundred years ago? Does it change again if the damage was done in the middle ages by Muslims building a lovely mosque over some of the temple ruins. What if it was early Christians scouring the walls to remove traces of pagan worship?
Or what if it was Alexander the Great making his mark by demolishing a set of pillars and building a shrine within the Temple. And then there’s the middle kingdom pharaohs removing traces of the previous dynasty to give themselves legitimacy.
The fabulous temple at Luxor has undergone all these changes and more. It remains stunningly beautiful, especially when lit at night.
By the way, our consensus opinion was that only the early christians hit the vandalism definition. Everyone else was leaving their mark, but only they were just trying to destroy what was there.