Sunday 10 May 2009

Alleged Antiquities Hunter and Smuggler Seized

The Ma’an News Agency carries a report on the arrest of an artefact hunter near Tuba in Israel.

The Tubas antiquities authority arrested an amateur antiques hunter and smuggler Friday after receiving information on stolen antiquities. When investigators searched the homes of the alleged smuggler they found excavation tools and preservation materials used for hunting and extracting ancient artifacts from sites around Palestine. The Wadi Al-Far’a resident, just south of Tubas, was arrested and his tools seized. He will be charged with smuggling Palestinian antiquities and tried in court, said Tourism and Antiques officer Hassan Na’irat.

When one sees the large numbers of “Holy land” antiquities offered on various antiquity dealers’ sites, it makes you wonder about where they come from and how these finds relate to the scale of the looting in the region. Also in the news last week was the attempted sale of a manuscript found in a cave - but probably not an accidental find but clandestine artefact hunting.


Marcus Preen said...

I hear he is being advised by his lawyers to plead mitigating circumstances as he was simply trying to help a group of collectaddicts having to go cold turkey and risk severe psychic disturbance.

Paul Barford said...

a reference I assume to:

Marcus Preen said...

Yes. I've seen a lot of daft justifications for dubious practices in my time ("it's guns that kill people, not people" and "Foxes enjoy the chase") but "I must do this for my psychological wellbeing" is the most brazen of all.

On the other hand, it inadvertently expresses the precise truth: "I must do this for my OWN sake". Amazing how words designed to cover up the truth can sometimes loudly proclaim it! As Homer Simpson might say - Doh!

(He actually said much that is relevant to the collecting-and-dealing lobby, such as "If something is wrong, blame the guy who can't speak English.")

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