Just as pressing is how to halt illegal trafficking of hundreds of artifacts and treasures.
This week in the public square that has come to symbolize the heart of the Renaissance, Florence’s Piazza della Signoria, a freestanding arch appeared at the edge of the L-shaped square overnight.
With the imposing, crenellated Palazzo Vecchio, now City Hall, and the giant marble copy of Michelangelo’s David looming nearby, the arch appeared small and fragile.
Curious Florentines and visitors alike paused to gaze at it before reading the information plaque that explained it was a precise replica of the Monumental Arch of Palmyra, Syria, dating back to ancient-Roman times.
It is the same arch destroyed by ISIS in 2015 in an act that can only be described as iconoclastic idiocy.