Sunday 30 January 2011

Egypt Looting: the Callousness of Collectors on Show

On hearing the news of the looting of museums and archaeological sites in Egypt, antiquity collector Candice Jarman writes:
Returning to the present troubles - sadly, some of the 'radical archaeologists' must be rubbing their hands with glee.
I consider that to be highly insulting to all those who care about the preservation of archaeological sites and monuments (and not just because I am named in that post). Many of us are wringing our hands in utter despair to imagine the wanton destruction and dismantling of monuments and collections to serve an ever-greedy and undiscriminating market.

Zahi Hawass this evening put his feelings like this:
My heart is broken and my blood is boiling. I feel that everything I have done in the last nine years has been destroyed in one day, but all the inspectors, young archaeologists, and administrators, are calling me from sites and museums all over Egypt to tell me that they will give their life to protect our antiquities.
The people who may well be "rubbing their hands with glee" would be unscrupulous
no-questions-asked dealers and collectors anticipating another windfall of looted material to come onto the market, like after the looting of archaeological sites in Bulgaria and then Afghanistan and Iraq. I cant see anyone like that dedicating their lives to protecting anything, except their own interests.

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