Eisenhower said, "it may seem strange that a soldier, representative of the science of destruction, should appear before a body dedicated to the preservation of man's creative ideals as expressed in art."
But Eisenhower said he understood the importance of cultural treasures and remembered seeing fascination in the faces of soldiers exploring the ancient city of Timgad in North Africa during military operations there.
"The freedom enjoyed by this country from the desolation that has swept over so many others during the past years gives to America greater opportunity than ever before to become the greatest of the world's repositories of art," he said.
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