Thursday 30 October 2008

Illicit Iraqi artefacts seized at Lebanese border crossing

Last Sunday, according to AFP, Lebanese customs officials on the Syrian-Lebanese border seized 57 Iraqi artifacts and arrested two smugglers, a Syrian and an Iraqi. The objects were hidden in a vehicle trying to cross into Lebanon at Masnaa crossing post just east of Damascus. After seizing the archaeological artefacts found in the vehicle, customs officers raided a house (presumably in Lebanon) and reportedly found more illicitly removed antiques.

The artefacts seized at the border crossing included statues, pottery and engraved stone pieces destined for the global no-questions- asked market in such antiquities. Photographs taken by Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly were published on Ancient World Bloggers Group and their state strongly suggests that they were items cherry-picked from a much larger assemblage of artefacts – where are the broken bits recovered by the looters from their deep diggings into the archaeological record?

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