The roles of an architectural historian may be many and varied, but they rarely include giving evidence at a UN war crimes tribunal. This, however, is what Dr András Riedlmayer, director of Islamic architecture at Harvard's Fine Arts Library, has been doing. The tribunal that found Bosnian-Serb leader Momcilo Kraji?nik guilty of crimes against humanity relied partly on Riedlmayer's evidence. As Riedlmayer told Australian local radio, his testimony was concerned largely with the deliberate bombing of the Bosnian National Library in Sarajevo.
'In an increasingly secular age, the burning of books may be the last act that evokes in people the same reaction an act of desecration does, ' Riedlmayer explained.