Saturday, 18 October 2014

Rep. William Keating and Antiquities Trafficking

There is an interesting comment in the article by Justine Drennan ('The Black-Market Battleground'), Foreign Policy October 17, 2014) about ISIL and the antiquities trade which is a pleasure to note. After a mention of attempts to get the UN to ban sales of Syrian artefacts as an extension of the exiusting one on Iraqi ones, she then notes concern from US lawmakers (who we hear more often of being on the side of the collectors and local dealers) that current efforts aren't enough to protect Syrian heritage:
Rep. William Keating, a Massachusetts Democrat and the ranking member on the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called evidence of Syrian and Iraqi antiquities increasingly showing up in the United States a "disconcerting development" and said it "implies not only an uptick in the illicit trade of these items, but links the destruction, plundering, and looting of cultural heritage sites to potential buyers in the United States who may be funding terrorist activities in the Middle East." Keating is working on proposals to strengthen cooperation between government bodies to combat antiquities trafficking. 

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