Saturday, 30 August 2008

Iraq Looting said to be "over"...

Well, I wondered how long it would be after the publication two days ago of the latest Martin Bailey Art Newspaper story before the collectors' forums start buzzing with the news that "the looting in Iraq is over"... Well, just now a whole bunch of them just threw the joyous news into my inbox simultaneously. I would like to believe its true. Sadly though in the opinion of some of us, there are grounds for treating this as sceptically as the same journalist's premature announcing a month earlier than an Iraqi-British mission of experts to southern Iraq had shown there had been NO looting. The publication of the actual report a few days later showed the actual results of the mission to have been entirely different. So Mr Bailey has tried again. Time will tell, but perhaps real investigative journalism requires more than just a single international telephone call?

Illustration: Irreparable damage caused by illicit digging at Isin, Southern Iraq, the state in July 2003. Photo: M.Bouchenaki, UNESCO.

Bailey, Martin '
Archaeological sites in south Iraq have not been looted, say experts" Art Newspaper Issue 193, 01.07.08.

Bailey, Martin 'Iraq’s top archaeologist says looting of sites is over'
Art Newspaper Issue 194, 28.8.08.

Curtis, J., Hussein Raheed, Clark, H. Al Hamdani, A.M. Stone, E. van Es, M, Collins, P. and Ali, M. 2008,
An Assessment of Archaeological Sites in June 2008: an Iraqi-British Project ’ (British Museum webpage)

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