Monday, 11 October 2010

Looting the Holy Land

Al Jazeera has the following video about the conflict over the archaeological heritage of one region of the world, and as it is presented here, the problem is not just the looters with their spades and metal detectors:

10th October 2010: "Since 1967 countless artifacts have been unearthed and removed from the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Many are displayed in Israeli museums and private collections, while others are sold to tourists. Al Jazeera searches through the evidence, unearthing the facts and exposing a power struggle in which every stone has meaning".

It would be interesting to see the "cultural property internationalist" reaction to this video and its rhetoric. On the one hand those dastardly archaeologists are cast as the villains, which is right up their street, but at the heart of it is the issue which is what they label "cultural property nationalism" - of which they as collectors and dealers disapprove. But I expect the two most keen to write on the topic (Wayne Syles and Peter Tompa) are ironing their shirts and practicing their lines for tomorrow's big CPAC meeting in Washington.

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