Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Nobody "Doubts", but Nobody has "Proven Anything" either

Daniel Rivero has a rather ill-titled article in Fusion ('Meet the lonely online warriors leading the fight against looted art', November 24, 2015) but the ending is worth quoting because blackguard dealers will be putting a different spin on things:
While the researchers I spoke to don’t doubt that looting is going on in ISIS-controlled territories, nobody suggested that there is an uptick in goods from the region flooding the world markets. And no researcher has definitively drawn a link between patternized looting and the funding of the largest terrorist organization in the world. So if looting and selling is going on, as many suspect, it’s happening in an investigative vacuum. Everyone is talking about it, but no one is doing actually actively, anything. Not even one case has been proven", Tsirogiannis, of Trafficking Culture, told me. “Look what I do,” he continued. “I am producing evidence, identifying objects, objects I find are being repatriated, and all this proves that my research is correct, that my thesis is correct. So why on an international level is there still not even one team that works on [ISIS]?” If the international community doesn’t work together either through academia, governments or NGOs to fund researchers like him (but not specifically him, he wanted me to stress), then the hope of identifying and dismantling these organizations across the world is greatly diminished, he said. “Within the last fifteen years we have five lost opportunities for examining how and if antiquities are leaving conflict zones. We lost Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Syria,” Tsirogiannis warned. “What about Yemen?” I asked him. “Yes, yes. Yemen too, you’re right. Six countries in 15 years,” he said. “Tell me: What does this mean for the future of the world?” he asked. “This is escalating into something bigger.”
poor old Yemen, always getting ignored. By the way Mr Rivero, it's not just "art", this is archaeological evdence being trashed for the buyers to pocket.

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