Friday, 28 August 2015

Collectors Choose to Finance the Syrian Conflict?

In the cardboard-cutout mentality world of US collectors of dugup antiquities, Peter Tompa in both denial and 'Two Wrongs' mode:
"remains dubious that looted material is reaching our shores in any quantity, and further wonders whether the ultimate source of any such "fresh" material is just as likely, if not more likely, to be the cash-strapped Assad regime or the Free Syrian Army rather than ISIS". 
So presumably he sees financing conflict with collectors' money for material freshly looted from the sites and monuments of Syria or Iraq as less of a problem for consciences if the money is going to buy munitions for the Syrian regime or the (US-backed) FSA.

Aleppo Syria September 1, 2014: a small
boy runs ahead  of a group of men carrying his
mother, killed in an aerial attack.

Peter Tompa of Bailey and Ehrenberg LLC represents several dealers' interest groups (including the IAPN who have been funding his lobbying to the tune of several tens of thousands of dollars over the past few years to say exactly this sort of thing). His blog is widely read among dealers and collectors. Now have a look at the comments under his posts. Does a single one of them respond, "yes, Peter, but don't you think...?" and then writes something showing even a glimmer of a social conscience? Absolutely not. You'll find things like personal attacks on "this Bokova woman" (UNESCO DG) and other views focussed on the "rights" of collectors to buy what they want how they want and not be challenged - but absolutely zero evidence that any of them see what Tompa writes in any kind of wider context. What does that tell you about the type of people that collect antiquities and claim these "rights" over the common heritage of us all?  Baz Thugwits, the lot of them, it seems.

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