|IADAA Chairman Vincent Geerling|
“It is a remarkable coincidence that the ambassador [Churkin] makes this claim just a week after UNESCO published figures from the IADAA showing $150-200m to be the value of the annual global legitimate market,” IADA spokesman Ivan Macquisten told ATG. “Syrian antiquities make up 5-10% of the global market. How likely is it that the illicit market is worth ten times that? Where is the evidence?” Macquisten added that the only primary-source documents from inside Syria mentioning any figures were captured in May 2015 by US Special Forces. “They put the figures at around $4m a year and that includes money from mineral and metal extraction,” Macquisten said.Again, the dealers; apologists are "going for the numbers". Interestingly, they do not address the other issue - the more important one of how bits of stone clay and corroded metal are turned into cash:
Churkin’s letter claims that ISIS is using Turkish criminal networks and websites to sell the looted antiquities.Indeed, not only Turkish websites, but ones right in the middle of the US and Europe. There is not a peep about that in the Antiques trade gazette - why would that be? There is much that does not add up in the no-questions-asked antiquities trade, the actual "numbers" involved being the least important issue ... except if one side wants to deflect attention away from what the actual real issue is.