PHOTO: “3,500-Year-Old Split Sphinx Will be Destroyed by Instagram Generation”

Daniela Rogulj

September 2, 2019 – Will the cultural heritage of Split be destroyed by the Instagram generation? One scene from Peristyle speaks volumes. 

Dalmacija Danas writes that Peristyle is one of the most recognizable parts of old Split, with the Sv. Duje Cathedral dominating its east. However, one detail, in particular, catches the attention of passersby – the Egyptian sphinx located in the western access to the church.

The black granite sphinx is nearly two and a half meters long and about one meter high. It is an old sculpture, probably built during the reign of Thutmose I or Thutmose III. These 18th dynasty members ruled in the 16th and 15th centuries BC, making it clear how old and valuable the monument is.

Unfortunately, no matter how old or valuable, we will continue to encounter those who lack respect for cultural heritage, which is especially seen in the social-media-dominated tourism of today. 

A perfect example of this carelessness was captured in Split, at Peristyle, where one tourist was spotted propped on top of the Split sphinx for a photo. 

It didn’t take long for the scene to horrify the citizens of Split, and numerous comments have circulated on social networks.

“This monument is literally 3,500 years old. It was transferred from Egypt 1,700 years ago. It has been the most damaged in the last 200 years. It survived the Middle Ages, the Christian destruction of Diocletian’s property. And it will be destroyed by the Instagram generation,” read one comment.

“The tragedy is how little people care about such a valuable piece of cultural heritage,” read another. 

One comment pointed out how things work in neighboring Italy, where in ’94, Rome initiated 150,000 lira fines.

Others agree:

“A penalty is necessary… 1000 kuna, sit down and pay. I don’t see a problem,” one Split resident wrote.

What do you think?

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