Many beautiful statues, belonging to good periods of Greek and Roman art, decorated the fora, streets and public buildings of the city, but conflagrations and the vandalism of the Latin and Ottoman conquerors of Constantinople have robbed the world of those treasures.
These acts of vandalism took place throughout Egypt, but in the distant mines of Sinai the cartouches of Hatshepsut are untouched.
We may, if we choose, absolve Alexander from the charge of vandalism of which he is accused, but the fact nevertheless remains, that he ordered the palace at Persepolis to be burned (Diod., xvii.
Up to comparatively recent times a priceless collection of classical manuscripts was preserved in the libraries; many of them were destroyed during the War of Greek Independence (1821-1829) by the Turks, who employed the parchments for the manufacture of cartridges; others fell a prey to the neglect or vandalism of the monks, who, it is said, used the material as bait in fishing; others have been sold to visitors, and a considerable number have been removed to Moscow and Paris.
But the most extraordinary of all the acts of Vandalism by which a fine work of art was ever defaced was committed in the year 1853.
In spite of the long neglect, wilful vandalism and ill-judged restoration which the Alhambra has endured, it remains the most perfect example of Moorish art in its final European development, - freed from the direct Byzantine influences which can be traced in the cathedral of Cordova, more elaborate and fantastic than the Giralda at Seville.
Having through centuries undergone cruel injury, from technical imperfections at the outset, from disastrous atmospheric conditions, from vandalism and neglect, and most of all from unskilled repair, its remains have at last (1904-1908) been treated with a mastery of scientific resource and a tenderness of conscientious skill that have revived for ourselves and for posterity a great part of its power.