The Librarian (ca. 1566) is a well-known painting by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a court artist for the Hapsburg emperors Ferdinand I, Maximilian II, and Rudolf II. Arcimboldo's "composite portrait" of a librarian cleverly assembled from a pile of books has been interpreted narrowly as a parody of librarianship and of intellectualism in general, due in part to Sven Alfons's identification of the librarian as the court historiographer, Wolfgang Lazius. This reevaluation of The
Librarian attempts to broaden the conventional view held by art historians and librarians. Considered within the context of late Renaissance book culture (particularly, Sebastian Brant's Ship of Fools), Arcimboldo's humor takes on a new signification. The Librarian may have targeted not those who love learning but rather materialistic book collectors more interested in acquiring books than in reading them.
Cultural property -- Protection (International law)
Libraries -- Destruction and pillage -- China -- Shanghai.
Libraries -- Destruction and pillage -- Italy -- Naples.
Libraries -- Destruction and pillage -- Bosnia and Hercegovina -- Sarajevo.
Libraries -- Destruction and pillage -- Iraq -- Baghdad.
The twentieth century witnessed some of the worst destruction of libraries and archives during armed conflicts. Ad hoc tribunals created to try war crimes have made some progress in establishing individual criminal responsibility for crimes against cultural property. However, crimes that involve the destruction of libraries and archives are not prosecuted as separate incidents due to the courts' failure to specifically list such crimes as separate counts of indictment. The lack of the prosecution of the individuals responsible for crimes of library and archive destruction is one of the reasons why the assault on the documentary heritage of the world continues.