Larry Rothfield, I think, gets it about right in the title of his post: Welcome, America, to the world collectors have made, in which no cultural patrimony is safe from looting, not even that of white Southerners .
The text refers to an Augusta Chronicle article by Wesley Brown, 'Grave-looting part of new black market for artifacts', April 26, 2013.
Graves of Confederate soldiers could be the new black market source for war collectibles. As TV shows such as PBS’ Antiques Roadshow and History Channel’s American Pickers and Pawn Stars attract millions of viewers, criminals are going to extreme measures to find buried treasure. In Burke County, two men are accused of desecrating and looting the Old Church Cemetery graves of five soldiers in search of heirlooms [...] At the core of the black-market trade of historic war relics, experts say, is the inability to easily verify the history of Confederate artifacts [...] The lack of background data enables private dealers and online collectors to sell large quantities of stolen artifacts under claims they are the heirloom of a distant relative [...] .The "old collection" argument. The article notes that one button off a Confederate uniform from the Civil War can sell for as much as $150. Uniforms and medals range in value from $500 to several thousand dollars. A general’s or officer’s sword can go for between $20,000 and $30,000, antiques brokers say.
Read all about it in these related stories:
Reward offered in Burke County cemetery desecration, Thursday, April 18, 2013
the remains of an infant casket and the corpses of five Confederate and Revolutionary War soldiers were dug up sometime before Saturday 13th April at the Old Church Cemetery, which dates to 1758 in the east Georgia countryside near Waynesboro in Burke County.
2 men charged in Burke County grave robbery, April 22, 2013/
Burke County grave robbery suspect still on loose Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - reportedly hiding in a swamp.
Photo: On the Run, Jerry Atkinson
UPDATE May 3rd 2013 It was reported May 1st that Mr Atkinson has been apprehended ('2nd grave robbery suspect found wearing dress, wig', WRDW-TV , May 1, 2013)
Investigators say 39-year-old Jerry Atkinson was found inside a home on Hancock Landing Road in Burke County disguised as a woman wearing a wig and dress [...] Jerry Ralph Morris, 44, is being charged with harboring a fugitive.