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Breakfast Friday, 6 June, 2003, 08:28 GMT 09:28 UK
On the road to Armageddon
Dan Cruickshank
39 Scud missiles hit Israel in 1991
Dan Cruickshank is every bit the modern day adventurer and his travels have taken him to Afghanistan, Iraq and Israel in search of antiquities and architecture ravaged by years of war.

In his latest film for the BBC, Dan has been to sites of religious significance in Israel.

You can see more in the first of two films on Saturday night, full details below.

  • Dan Cruickshank was live on Breakfast, click on the link below to see our interview


    On the very first day of the Conflict in Iraq, Dan Cruickshank and his team flew into Israel, to the war torn West Bank and the very real peril of cultural disaster.

    In 1991, thirty nine Scud missiles hit Israel: what devastation would similar attacks wreak if they landed on the holy sites of Jerusalem, Bethlehem or Hebron?

    Dan Cruickshank braves the streets and checkpoints of a heavily curfewed and dangerous Hebron to reach the Tomb of the Patriarchs, burial place of Abraham.

    He said it's a very odd feeling knowing people had their sights trained on you, and it's strangely depressing seeing holy sites surrounded by armed guards.

    He visits Hebron where the Tomb is divided in half Jewish/Muslim but guarded by armed Israelis and the Muslim section is empty.

    There were no worshippers because they're often under 24 hour curfew.

    Lost cities

    After the critical success in February this year of his film - Dan Cruickshank and the Lost Cities of Iraq - he flew back into the eye of the storm with a return visit to Baghdad.

    His quest is to find out how badly the Iraq Museum had been looted and damaged, during the taking of Baghdad by US forces and he is afforded unprecedented access to the Museum, and the ongoing American investigation.

    When he last visited Iraq - and particularly the museum - in November he found it eerily empty.

    The curator and director (both women - one Christian one Moslem) had taken all the artefacts away for safe-keeping because of the fear of bombings - while there it's easy to hear the US planes flying overhead.

    These ladies said they'd fight to the last drop of blood to protect their country's cultural heritage.

  • Dan Cruickshank, The Road to Armageddon, Saturday 7 June, 8.05pm BBC Two

  • Dan Cruickshank and the Raiders of the Lost Art, Sunday 8 June 9.00pm BBC Two
  •  WATCH/LISTEN
     ON THIS STORY
    Dan Cruickshank

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