I am of the opinion that the universal value of art is greater than the sanctity of one or of several human lives. I do not believe this in the sense that for every painting created one should sacrifice himself willingly to protect it; instead, I believe that it is the voice, timeless nature, and culture portrayed within works of art that are worth the sanctity of human life.
When looking at art as a whole, it is apparent that the voice and the ideas it speaks of are far beyond the life of a single man. The works of both ancient and modern times capture thoughts of the cultural era in which they were created. They each encase the passions of man within their brush strokes, melodies, photographs, and scrapings of marble. Each respected piece does not simply communicate the mind of its artisan; it reveals a glimpse of the period in time in which such a thing of beauty was created. Each piece represents struggle, love, hatred, oppression, and freedom which ultimately make the thoughts and actions of men immortal. If one is eager to fight and die for the country they love in battle, would it not be noble then to do the same for such a cultural importance as art? Since the heart and spirit of a nation is embedded in the art it produces, it is of the utmost importance to preserve and protect it. After all, many men have died for causes much more wicked than that of art.
The consistency of art and its immortal impact leads me to believe it is worth the sanctity of human life. Its universal proclamation of harmony and beauty allows separate nations of men to appreciate a common object. Art, much like mathematics, is a universal language which can reach any audience despite national boundaries. It is a way to influence others peacefully by using beauty instead of might. The universal value of this beauty reaches beyond just a single soul. Its ability to impact men outside the limitations of time, race, and gender leads me to believe art is worth the sanctity of human life because that is what it represents. While men live and die, art remains consistent. The endeavors, innovations, and important figures of each period in history are captured within its creations. The inspiration of ancient and new ideas can be seen in the paintings, songs, architecture, and sculpture these ideas produced. It is in this way that the concept of art does not operate simply on a physical level; art tells the immortal story of man, what he has accomplished, what he has created, and what he has made better for himself and his country. In my opinion, the sanctity of human life is art and all it represents.
If the dignity and sanctity of man is preserved in the beautiful things he creates, man should be willing to die for the good of these creations. It is the universal value of art that makes its protection crucial. Art is an indicator that men from different national standings are able to come together and appreciate something beautiful and historical as one. It shows the cultural struggles of those before us and inspires those alive in the present to innovate, create, and change society for the better. Pieces of art are pieces of mankind’s soul and if one cannot die for something such as that, what then can one die for?