Penalties for destroying ancient works of art should be raised, but only if the requisite level of intent is met. What purpose is to be served by advancing harsh penalties if a person truly made a mistake. Contrast that with the person who knowingly or recklessly destroys ancient artwork. The penalty should be higher.
When ancient works are destroyed, the perpetrators are not only stealing from us, they are stealing from future generations as well. History is important and there are always lessons to be learned from it.Destroying it is a major theft and should be punished in very harsh terms that fit such a huge crime.
An ancient work of art is something that has survived the time to provide us with an insight into the history of our world. To have a person destroy something so cherished is absolutely heartbreaking, and the punishment should be tough. These ancient artworks cannot be replaced, making the crime even worse.
Yes, the criminal penalty for destroying ancient artifacts and works of arts should be extremely punitive. It is very important for governments of the world to protect and preserve the things that tell us about our global heritage. These artifacts are sometimes destroyed in conflict. This should be considered a war crime.
Obviously, when they determined the penalty, they felt it was harsh enough to deter people but not so harsh that the punishment was too severe. I don't know if the penalty took into consideration the value of the object as that may mean an even bigger cost to the criminal. For instance, if I vandalized a rare car causing $10,000 in repair costs, it would be fair to have me pay the $10,000 plus the fine. If the vandalism could not be be repaired but so the car lost part of it's value, I should have to pay the difference plus the fine. In this case, some restoration may help restore it to it's original condition but it would still loose value. The person should have to pay the fine, the cost of restoration plus the difference in value after restoration. To me, this sounds fair. Thing is, the criminal may not be able to afford the cost. If that is the case, they should have to work it off through other means.