Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Washington Collectors and Dealers and Destruction of Iraq and Syria's Past

Peter Tompa on his blog gloatingly has a photo (I presume his own as it was taken just down the road from his office), from behind the spectators, suggesting that the turnout of supporters for Iraqi archaeology outside the White House (White House March to stop ISIS from destroying what remains of Mesopotamian Civilization) was less than disappointing. It seems the response was rather pathetic. Whether that is true or not, the photographer commented in justification that all those collectors in the Washington area, passionately interested in "preserving the past" who did not swell the numbers out of spite for the no-questions-asked antiquities market being one factor blamed for the looting of sites. Their staying away (and Mr Tompa staying behind the other spectators) rather suggests that they support such a damaging market. Nevertheless what the rally was supposed to be about was the destruction of monuments and sites in general as well as the commercial exploitation of the archaeological sites. Can collectors not support that? How many Washington collectors and dealers, Mr Tompa, stood in the drizzle shoulder-to-shoulder with the preservationists? The comments section below is available for any of them present to add their name, only collectors (metal detectorists too), dealers and antiquities-handling middlemen please.

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